Prince William visited a Pret A Manger shop in Bournemouth on Thursday 7 September to mark the company’s new pledge to support at least 500 people facing homelessness with jobs at the coffee chain over the next five years.
The pledge represents a 40 per cent expansion of The Pret Foundation’s Rising Stars program across the United Kingdom, which aims to provide support, employment and training for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Since we started The Pret Foundation almost 30 years ago, we’ve worked hard to give people facing homelessness vital support, training and employment opportunities, including through our Rising Stars programme, but no one can fix this problem alone,” says Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou.
“That’s why we’re so proud and honoured to be working with Homewards and His Royal Highness to take Rising Stars even further. We will continue to do everything we can as a business to help tackle this issue and give people new opportunities wherever we can.”
During his visit, Prince William met Pret A Manger staff who have been supported by the Rising Stars program, before hearing from Christou about the role of business in tackling homelessness, and Pret’s new pledge with Homewards.
The Prince was seen using a La Cimbali S60, a customised automatic espresso machine designed specifically for Pret A Manger. The partnership between the two companies spans over two decades, shown by the use of over 400 customised machines across Pret’s key locations.
The pledge coincides with Prince William and the Royal Foundation’s Homewards Initiative, a new and locally led project that aims to prevent homelessness in six flagship locations across the UK: Bournemouth, Lambeth, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Newport, and Northern Ireland.