William and Kate visit Christian youth charity XLP

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today visited at a number of projects in London run by Christian urban youth charity XLP and spent time speaking to young people about the issues they face.

The charity works with young people of all faiths from inner city communities who are dealing with issues such as poverty, family breakdown, unemployment, gang life, and educational failure.

William and Kate watched a performance by young people involved with the XLP Arts project at Christ Church, Gypsy Hill and visited the mobile recording studio. They also spent time talking to young people from the charity's community bus project on the Hazel Grove Estate in Sydenham about the issues affecting their lives.

"The kids were all really amazed by how warm and friendly the Duke and Duchess were," said XLP founder and CEO Patrick Regan.

He said they were "very moved" by the young people's performance.

"They said they had been to many showcases but hearing the stories behind where these kids have come from makes the performance even more powerful.

"It was really moving to be there to hear these kids articulate so well and talk about the impact that XLP has had on their lives. Some of them said they are not even sure they would be alive today if it weren't for XLP."

The charity, which was founded after a stabbing in a school playground in 1996, works in schools and on council estates in some of the most deprived areas of London. Many of the 1,800 young people they help each week cannot, or do not know how to ask for the help they need.

XLP provides them and their families with support to help them reach their potential, which includes mentoring, educational support, arts programmes and advocating for children and young people at a national level.

Speaking of his conversations with William and Kate, Regan said: "We discussed youth mental health, and talked a lot about family – a lot of the kids come from very difficult family situations. They are really interested in the area of youth mental health and the stigma around it."

In February the Duchess recorded a special video message in support of the Place2Be charity for Children's Mental Health Week. She has been the royal patron of the charity since 2013.

Regan added that the Duchess was particularly interested in the XLP's early intervention programmes – an issue which Kate has spoken about in the past as being particularly important to her.

The visit marked the royal couple's final official event before the birth of their second child. The baby is due in mid-to-late April.

In anticipation of the new arrival, the charity gave them a special baby grow, complete with a quote from Regan saying "I refuse to believe this is a lost generation".