For over 40 years, The Prince of Wales has been a leader in identifying charitable need and setting up and driving forward charities to meet it. From the early days of The Prince's Trust in the mid-1970s, his charitable interests have grown to the point where the Prince's charities represent a broad range of areas, including the built environment, the arts, responsible business and enterprise, young people, global sustainability, and rural affairs.

Thanks to funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery, several of the Prince's charities have been able, over the past two years, to extend the support they give to people in need - and 2017 is no different. Three of the charities will share a generous grant of £850,000 to work with the following groups.

Business in the Community will deliver a highly intensive employment programme, Ready for Work, with people who are furthest from the job market and affected by homelessness. Around 150 additional people will have access to training and support to find a way back into employment. This group, who face such challenges as drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, criminal backgrounds and dire poverty, are given the opportunity to get back on track and find a way to play an active and positive part in society.

In Kind Direct runs a unique service distributing a wide range of surplus products from retailers and manufacturers to charities working across the UK. This service provides a lifeline to thousands of small, locally-rooted charities supporting people in need in their local communities. Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, vulnerable adults will receive essential goods such as toiletries, clothing, household, bedding and kitchen products, via 100 local charities which are part of the In Kind Direct network.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund will use the funds to improve the health and wellbeing of isolated people in deprived rural areas. Working across 10 rural communities, they will bring people together and help them to build support networks. The project will reduce social isolation, improve mental and physical health and the quality of life for the most vulnerable individuals by helping to create vital hubs at the hearts of these communities.

All the charities involved would like to thank players of People's Postcode Lottery for their ongoing support.

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The Ready for Work programme gives those furthest from employment a chance to get back on track