Big Issue seller shows Duke and Duchess of Cambridge around his home

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak with Eamonn Kelly who is now living in a modular home Credit: PA Wire

A Big Issue seller shook the Duke of Cambridge’s hand and invited him to visit his modular home, after telling William he heard that he had sold the magazine.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Eamonn Kelly, 52, on a visit to housing charity Jimmy’s Cambridge.

The charity supports people on their journey through homelessness.

Mr Kelly, who has sold the Big Issue in Cambridge for 13 years, is one of the first residents in Jimmy’s modular homes, which first opened in 2020.

Cambridge is one of the first cities in the UK to explore this solution to tackling homelessness, providing small self-contained independent accommodation for those seeking to continue their journey onto full independent living.

Mr Kelly, originally from Belfast, told William: “I heard you’re a Big Issue seller?”

The duke replied: “Well, I gave it a go.”

Shaking William’s hand, Mr Kelly told him: “Well I work for the Big Issue, I sell in Cambridge.”

He then invited William and Kate into his modular home where they spoke at length.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Kelly said: “They’re down to earth people, they’re very genuine, they’re interested in you as a person, not your past or your future.

The Cambridges last visited Jimmy’s in 2012 when they opened a hostel for the charity.

Service user Pete Dean, 59, met William and Kate in 2012 and spoke with them again on Thursday’s visit.

The duke told Mr Dean: “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years Pete.

“I sat in your room, I sat on your bed talking about what you’d been doing in your life.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Pete Dean (second left) Credit: PA Wire

After speaking with the Cambridges in private, Mr Dean, who now has his own flat, said: “They proper remembered, it was nice.

“He said he’d come and see me in another 10 years.

Everyone living in one of the modular homes at Jimmy’s is provided with a significant support system through the charity’s expert team, helping them to tackle issues around mental health, employment, addiction or reconnecting with families, said the charity.

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