Gallery: Charles in Yorkshire visits Muslim prisoners and Blur’s Alex James

THE Prince of Wales met Muslim inmates at Leeds Prison and had a woolly chat with a rock star during a visit to Yorkshire.

The Prince of Wales, patron of the Prince's Countryside Fund, during a visit to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, North Yorkshire.

Charles went into the Victorian jail to meet inmates and staff involved in a project to prepare young prisoners for life after their release before meeting Blur’s Alex James at a woollen mill.

James was supporting the Campaign for Wool, launched by the prince in 2010, and said Charles was easily the best dressed man he knew.

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James said: “I think he must be a shoo-in for best dressed man of the year. He’s a brilliant dresser and a great ambassador for wool.”

The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.

The prince met the bassist-turned-farmer and his wife Claire at Abraham Moon and Sons, in Guiseley, Leeds - the last fully vertical woollen mill in England which employs more than 200 people and makes luxury woollens for customers including Marks & Spencer, Laura Ashley and Paul Smith.

Mill worker Margaret Fisher, 76, said of Charles: “He asked me if we were as busy as we’ve ever been and were we getting busier, and I said yes.

“A lot of people are going under but we’re going up. He was very, very interested.”

Managing director John Walsh said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet and talk to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and have the opportunity to hear him speak about the importance of British and Commonwealth wool and its use within the fashion and interior industry.”

The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.

Earlier, Charles talked to Muslim inmates at Leeds Prison who are involved in a project developed by the his Mosaic mentoring initiative.

He spent time talking with volunteer mentors, as well as prisoners and ex-prisoners who have benefited from the scheme.

Mosaic said it has developed a particular expertise in engaging with Muslim prisoners who currently account for 15% of the prison population.

It said this figure rises to 22% of people under the age of 18 held in young offender institutions.

The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.

Sadia Ahmed, a mentor on the scheme, said: “Our mentees really appreciate the fact that we are volunteers who choose to give our time to help them successfully transition back into their communities, rather than members of staff who are paid to help, that is the biggest difference with our intervention.”

Mentee Mohammed Hussain said: “I’ve been in and out of prison quite a few times now. With the Mosaic programme, I feel for the first time now that I have direction about what I want to do after I leave prison, and I’m thankful to my Mosaic mentor for guiding me on this journey”.

Jonathan Freeman, managing director of Mosaic, said: “The Prince of Wales was able to see the vital work we do amongst the prison population in Yorkshire. It’s clear that our mentoring scheme is making a real difference, with a 20% drop in re-offending amongst prisoners who have participated in our programme.”

After leaving Leeds, Charles moved onto the Yorkshire Dales for visits including the Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes, a salmon river and a community pub before an end to his day-long tour of West and North Yorkshire with the Parachute Regiment at Catterick Garrison.

The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.
The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.
The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.
The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMP Leeds, where he met those involved in his Mosaic 'through-the-gates' mentoring programme for inmates.
The Prince of Wales, patron of the Prince's Countryside Fund, during a visit to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, North Yorkshire.
The Prince of Wales, patron of the Prince's Countryside Fund, during a visit to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, North Yorkshire.