19 Aug 2022

2020 news review: Prosperous locals flock to see Will and Kate as royals visit Kildare

A year like no other: We take a look at some of the stories other than the rolling Covid-19 lockdowns that made the headlines in County Kildare over the last year

2020 news review: Prosperous locals flock to see Will and Kate as royals visit Kildare

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Londis in Prosperous last March

Last March, Prosperous had a special visit from royalty as crowds gathered to welcome Prince William and Kate during their visit to Ireland.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stopped off in the Londis shop in Prosperous on March 4 on their way to an official engagement at a local residential facility run by charity Extern.

The royal couple smiled and waved to a large crowd when they walked from their Range Rover vehicle into the convenience store.

William and Kate bought vegetables as ingredients for the soup they made in a kitchen at Savannah House.

The Londis shop had been cordoned off since earlier that morning and word spread rapidly that William and Kate might make a surprise stop off.

Operating in 27 counties across Ireland, each year Extern supports over 20,000 people to help change their lives, including young people and families facing challenges, people who are homeless, people living with mental health issues, people with an offending past, people living with problem drug and alcohol use and minority communities.

The visit was the second to the all-Ireland charity by The Duke and Duchess in just over a year.

During the Kildare visit, their Royal Highnesses spent time with 18 young people, hearing how they have benefitted from Extern’s life-changing supports and their time at Savannah House.

One of four family respite centres operated by Extern, Savannah House has welcomed over 2,500 children from across Ireland since opening its doors in 2011. It offers children who would not otherwise get the chance of a break, to avail of some time away, while others can come to stay when they are facing challenging situations at home, or in care, and while they are being supported on one of Extern’s programmes.

One of the key focuses for Extern with young people staying at Savannah House is the development of independent living skills, including how they can best manage their own health and wellbeing, how to budget, and learning about healthy eating.

They are also taught basic cookery skills and how to cook a range of simple, but nourishing meals, which they can then recreate at home.

While at Savannah House, their Royal Highnesses joined the young people as they discussed the budget for a meal and what ingredients to buy. They joined them in the kitchen as they prepared vegetable soup and cookies.

While staying at Savannah on overnight respite breaks, children are encouraged to do a range of fun and educational activities.

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