Singer Robert Plant has become the patron of a charity supporting homeless people in the Black Country. 

The rock icon has been a long-time supporter of the Good Shepherd, which is based in Wolverhampton, and invited representatives to his concert at The Halls last December to raise awareness of their work. 

Following a visit to the charity to discover the variety of services it provides to the community, the star has now stepped up his backing by becoming a patron. 

His support includes creating a new trainee scheme which will offer two paid trainee roles within the organisation for people with lived experiences of homelessness and other issues. 

Plant said: "It was good to visit the Good Shepherd and learn more about their work. Providing food and a range of other support is a key part of it but something that I think is so important is the focus on rebuilding confidence, self-esteem and spirit." 

Dudley News: Good Shepherd are thrilled to welcome Robert Plant as a patron Good Shepherd are thrilled to welcome Robert Plant as a patron (Image: Good Shepherd)

Good Shepherd CEO Tom Hayden said everyone at the charity is "thrilled" to welcome Plant as a patron. 

He said: "The Good Shepherd is a small local charity, but we have a big impact in our community. 

"Having Robert support our work in Wolverhampton and the Black Country is incredible for our organisation and we're extremely grateful he has decided to come on board as a patron. 

"From the moment Robert visited and started talking to us about the Good Shepherd, we could sense the enthusiasm and passion he has for wanting to help people who have found themselves facing challenging circumstances.

"He asked a lot of searching questions, which was great, because it really helped get to the heart of what we do in helping people not just find a temporary solution to issues such as homelessness and food poverty, but more sustained support where they can rediscover their strengths and pursue their dreams."

The trainees for the new scheme have both been participants in the Good Shepherd’s LEAP programme with the roles forming a key part of their recovery journey.

The LEAP programme offers volunteering and training opportunities at the Good Shepherd for people who have experienced homelessness and other issues with the aim of returning to employment. 

A recruitment process is taking place to fill the two roles with the successful applicants due to be announced shortly. 

Mr Hayden added: "Robert’s support as a patron of the Good Shepherd is actually going to deliver double the impact. 

"In the first instance, this new trainee scheme gives two people who have experienced homelessness the opportunity of paid employment, a recognised qualification, and a training opportunity to progress in their careers.

"But in their new roles, there will be countless others that benefit from the support that the trainees will be able to offer.

"We cannot thank Robert enough for becoming a patron and underpinning these trainee roles, and we look forward to keeping him updated on how our programme develops."