William and Kate arrive in Northern Ireland for day-long visit

William and Kate arrive in Northern Ireland for day-long visit

William and Kate (Ben Birchall/PA)

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate have arrived in Northern Ireland for a day-long visit to the region.

William and Kate will fulfil a number of engagements with cross-community organisations that provide support to people from all backgrounds.

They began with a visit to suicide prevention charity PIPS in north Belfast.

Lord mayor Tina Black and Sinn Féin MP for the constituency John Finucane were among those who welcomed the couple on arrival.

Tina Black, the lord mayor of Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Inside, 12-year-old Elyse Quinn, the daughter of the charity’s executive director Renee Quinn, presented Kate with a bouquet of flowers.

PIPS was founded in 2003 following the loss of 14 young people to suicide in Belfast over a short period of time the previous year.

Compelled to act, stakeholders from across the city came together to try to tackle the issue.

During their visit, William and Kate spoke with staff about their work helping people at risk of suicide and self-harm.

The charity also arranged for them to take part in an art therapy session – painting pumpkins – with some vulnerable children who have been supported by PIPS.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation has seen a significant rise in those reaching out for help.

That includes an increase of more than 500% among young people.

At the close of their visit, the couple will be invited to join a group of volunteer counsellors in packing up the charity’s Little Boxes of Hope.

The support packages are given to children following their time with PIPS to assist their ongoing recovery and ensure that their parents and guardians feel better equipped to cope.

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