Prince Charles has been busy lately, visiting flood victims and those affected by the 2011 London riots.
The Prince offered his support to flood-hit residents on the Somerset Levels by pledging emergency funding through The Prince’s Countryside Fund. The Duke of Westminster will match the funding with an additional £50,000 – taking the total donation to £100,000.
Earlier this week, the Prince met local residents, farmers and emergency services personnel who have been affected by the flooding.
His Royal Highness, Patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, which will provide the donation, attended a reception in Stoke St Gregory. Dozens of schoolchildren, residents and campaigners greeted him as he arrived at the Williams Hall in the small Somerset village, near Taunton.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund has allocated £25,000 of the emergency funding to the Farming Help Partnership, made up of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Farm Community Network and the Addington Fund. A further £25,000 has been given to the Somerset Community Foundation.
Communities from local areas including Muchelney, Thorney and other isolated hamlets have been cut off by the waters, with major roads closed. The Somerset Levels suffered “once in 100 years” flooding in 2012, with conditions returning to the area in recent weeks. More than 128,000 acres are flooded, around 40 homes are under water and approximately 200 houses are cut off. In total, around 350 people are affected.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund, founded by His Royal Highness, has supported Britain’s hard-pressed rural areas since being set up by Business in the Community in July 2010. Twice a year, the fund allocates grants to rural projects but it also reserves a portion of its income to be used in times of crisis. Somerset Community Foundation will use the funding to provide emergency relief grants to small businesses and those affected by the flooding.
It is hoped the money will help pay for emergency repairs, compensation for loss of income, damage to shop stock and increased petrol costs.
Also this week, The Prince of Wales visited Tottenham to learn how the area is recovering from the 2011 London riots following a major injection of funds and resources.
The Prince of Wales’s visit to Tottenham was his fourth to the area following the riots and a number of his charities and organisations are helping with the borough’s regeneration and providing support to young people.
Projects include an enterprise programme, run by the Prince's Trust, which provides training and mentoring for young people wanting to start their own business. The Prince also initiated an idea to place a ‘Business Connector’ in Tottenham to connect charities and community groups with business and public bodies, which has been implemented by Business in the Community.
The Prince also visited the 639 Centre, a Grade II listed former council office, which needed £1.5 million worth of refurbishment after suffering riot damage. It is now an enterprise centre run by a charity providing a range of facilities for young people who want to start their own businesses and during the visit His Royal Highness met some of the young entrepreneurs including one of his Prince’s Trust alumni Gina Moffatt, 36, from Tottenham, a former drug offender who went to prison but is now a successful businesswoman running a cafe based at the centre and a separate florist.
Ms Moffatt praised the help she had received from the Trust: “I didn’t have a dream, I thought I would spend the rest of my life on benefits street. But now I have a dream and a legacy.”