Prince and Princess of Wales in Northern Ireland for day-long visit

Royal couple begin visit with trip to suicide prevention charity Pips in north Belfast

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

The Prince and Princess of Wales will partake in 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 Fein MP for the local constituency John Finucane were among those who welcomed the royal couple on arrival.

Twelve-year-old Elyse Quinn, the daughter of the charity's executive director Renee Quinn, presented the princess with a bouquet.

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, the Prince and Princess of Wales spoke with staff about their work helping people at risk of suicide and self-harm.

The Princess of Wales smiles and shakes hands with well-wishers after her visit to Pips. EPA

The charity also arranged for them to take part in an art therapy session — painting pumpkins — with some of the children who are supported by Pips.

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

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

At the close of their visit, the prince and princess 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 recovery and ensure that their parents and guardians feel better equipped.

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Updated: October 06, 2022, 2:31 PM
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