Paul Gascoigne kisses Prince William during the Pret a Manger meeting | Prince William

The former English footballer Paul Gascoigne had an affectionate encounter with the Prince of Wales after appearing in a Pret a Manger where the royal was highlighting his campaign against the homeless.

The former England midfielder was among the staff and diners at the Bournemouth sandwich chain as William came to help him with his trip. Back home initiative.

The two shook hands as William asked about Gascoigne, 56, who has faced mental health and addiction issues.

A beaming Gascoigne, who said he lived in nearby Sandbanks, responded that he was “much better” before leaning in to embrace the prince and plant a kiss on his cheek.

William was at the store to learn more about the company’s commitment to expanding its long-running Rising Stars program, which helps break the cycle of homelessness by providing support, training and employment. Over the next five years, the program is expected to grow by 40%, helping at least 500 people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless find employment in Pret’s stores across the UK.

Afterwards, William said it had been a “very interesting morning”.

The Prince was also visiting AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium to hear about the club’s work in the community to support people at risk of homelessness, and its commitment to expanding its projects under Homewards.

The visits follow the June launch of Homewards, which aims to play a role in demonstrating that it is possible to end homelessness – “by making it rare, brief and unrepeated”.

Bournemouth is one of six Homewards flagship sites, with William meeting with local and national businesses who have pledged their support.

The local five-year Homewards program was created by the Prince and Princess of Wales’s Royal Foundation to take a transformative approach to the issue of homelessness.

Homewards will offer its six flagship sites new spaces, tools and relationships to demonstrate what can be achieved through a collective effort focused on preventing homelessness in their areas.

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