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Prince William “taking the fight to mental health in Swindon” at anti-youth violence charity

Prince William has visited BEST – Be a Better You – charity in Swindon to hear about the work they do to improve the lives of young people involved in crime and gang violence.

Prince William shared the photos of his visit on X (formerly Twitter) by saying: “Taking the fight to mental health in Swindon.

“A privilege witnessing genuine commitment to supporting young people through sports coaching, education programmes and mentoring at Best – Be A Better You”.

His visit came after 15-year-old Elianne Andam was stabbed to death in Croydon, south London, on Wednesday – the latest tragic young casualty of an escalation of violence and knife crime on the nation’s streets.

The charity visited by the Prince of Wales was set up by Don Bryden in Swindon in 2020 after his daughter Jess became exposed to criminal exploitation.

Mr Bryden wanted to provide a positive experience for young people with social and mental health barriers, providing them one-to-one mentoring and sports coaching.

Of the Prince’s visit, Mr Bryden said: “It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. I was quite concerned about how it would go, but the prince showed a massive interest in the work we do.

“We need to do something to help young people.”

The Prince of Wales spoke to Jess about her personal story and how the charity has helped her turn her life around.

Jess said: “At the time it was very hard for me, when my dad stepped in to help, I thought he hated me.

“I love him for it because if he didn’t intervene, I would not be here today.

“It was a real inspiration to see and talk to Prince William about our experiences.”

Finally, the Prince of Wales heard from volunteers and staff about the programmes they deliver at the charity and the positive impact it has on children in the local community.  

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