Westminster homeless take tea with the Mayor

 Having to contend with armed police, security alerts, traffic jams and tourists as President Bush visited the Queen, did not deter the clients and residents of the Cardinal Hume Centre for homeless people from visiting the Lord Mayor of Westminster in her parlour on 19 November. The Mayor invited the residents and clients, having been very impressed by the Centre's work when she visited during the summer. While the children from the charity's Family Centre were most impressed with the wonderful cakes and scones on offer, the young residents from the Drop-in Project and Hostel were much more interested in the view of Buckingham Palace and the fuss around the President's visit. One client even remembered to bring binoculars to make sure they had the best view in the house. During the visit, as a thank-you, the mayor was presented with a framed picture drawn by a resident of the Centre's Horseferry Road Project that helps people recovering from an addiction. The Mayor was also delighted to accept an invitation from the children of the Family Centre to their Christmas party. She said: "It was a wonderful visit and a real contrast with taking part that morning in welcoming the President of the United States to London. I admire and support the work of the Centre and enjoy every opportunity to listen to the life stories of its clients." The Cardinal Hume Centre is a charity started in 1986 by Cardinal Hume in response to all the young people he saw living on the streets. Today the Centre has five separate projects: A hostel for 16 - 21 year olds providing skills development and counselling, a hostel for young people recovering from an addiction, a daytime Drop-in Project, a Family Centre and an Education project. All projects are aimed at providing people who are at risk with the skills and support to turn their lives around and lead meaningful independent lives.

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