Welcome, Prince Charles! Wellesley Institute’s Rick Blickstead and Michael Shapcott join HRH at UforChange, YSM

The Wellesley Institute was delighted, and honoured, to join in welcoming His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to Toronto on May 22. Rick Blickstead, CEO of the Wellesley Institute, facilitated the Royal Report-Back session with Prince Charles at Yonge Street Mission, that included youth from the community, senior business executives and community leaders. Michael Shapcott, Director of Housing and Innovation, escorted Prince Charles on a tour of the east end of downtown Toronto on a TTC bus, which ended at UforChange. Sue Williams and Roger Barton, co-chairs of the Wellesley Institute’s board of directors, participated in the Royal events.

The Wellesley Institute has been an operational partner with Prince’s Charities Canada, the Prince of Wales charitable initiative, in re-launching the Prince’s Seeing is Believing (PSiB) initiative. PSiB was started by Prince Charles more than two decades ago in England to bring together dynamic community organizations that are making a positive difference along with senior business executives. The goal is to create a mutually beneficial relationship that strengthens communities.

UforChange is a dynamic arts-based community organization that engages newcomer and other youth in training, education and employment. The Wellesley Institute joined with other partners in creating UforChange three years ago, and helped the fledgling group through its start-up phase.

Yonge Street Mission and UforChange were the two host organizations for the mid-January Prince’s Seeing is Believing community tour. That event brought 17 senior business executives into the east end of downtown Toronto for a deep plunge into the social and economic issues facing newcomer and other youth, including training, education and employment. The execs met with youth to learn first hand of the issues and challenges they face, and the execs also met senior staff from YSM and UforChange, who described how their services and programs assist the youth. Arising out of that session have been a series of partnerships that continue to grow, including internships, mentoring, coaching, business support for social enterprise development and support for financial sustainability.

Through service to others, we build strong communities: A message from Prince Charleshttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/through-service-to-others-we-build-strong-communities/article2436190/

Short video of Prince Charles scratching at UforChange  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/video/video-prince-charles-spins-the-vinyl/article2440727/

Prince Charles rallies top-level support for his Canadian causes  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prince-charles-rallies-top-level-support-for-his-canadian-causes/article2437881/