The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced £1.8million in grants from their Royal Foundation to support key workers and others affected by the pandemic. Prince William and Kate met privately with two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors at Sandringham earlier this week, to how their work will be helped by grants from the Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
WATCH: William and Kate during a visit to a NHS 111 centre in March
The Duchess told them: "Over recent months we have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to COVID-19, but we know that for many of them, their families, and for thousands of others across the UK, the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health."
The Duke added: "It's great to hear how The Royal Foundation is supporting you and many others to build resilience and give you the networks you need through its COVID-19 Response Fund, which will help ten leading charities continue their crucial work."
The Duke and Duchess met with emergency responders
The bespoke fund will boost a range of projects, from ensuring all emergency workers have access to individual grief trauma from Hospice UK, to helping early years charity Best Beginnings support an extra 20,000 new mothers , thanks to a community mental health training project to reach pregnant women and new parents.
It will also support teachers, children and parents in coping with mental health issues such as anxiety as schools re-open in September, by offering training and resources from Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre.
Over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support
Blue Light, a project from mental health charity Mind, will now be able to support more than 250,000 people working or volunteering in the ambulance, fire, police, and search and rescue services, giving them access to peer-to-peer support, training and mental health resources. And a grant will enable The Ambulance Staff Charity to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for crews.
The fund will allow the mental health charities Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), Shout 85258 and The Mix to increase the capacity of their helplines and chat services, while the youth mental health charity Young Minds will build a new website and content to meet demand after visitors to the site doubled since the start of the pandemic.
The new grants underline William and Kate’s commitment to frontline workers and the nation’s mental health, which they believe will continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic for months and years to come.
The grants have been made to ten leading charities
Alison Baum, chief executive of Best Beginnings, said: "The pandemic has led to greatly increased levels of anxiety and isolation for parents across the UK and in collaboration with many charities and frontline professionals, we are here to help. This vital funding will enable us to deliver an engaging digital outreach programme as well as maternal mental health training with Home-Start volunteers and midwives."
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said: "It is so important, perhaps now more than ever, that the right information, advice, peer support services and training is easily accessible for our hardworking key workers, especially those of us who might be experiencing poor mental health."
Chris Martin, CEO at The Mix, said: "With uncertain times ahead young people remain vulnerable. We are hugely grateful to The Royal Foundation for their incredible donation that will enable us to continue growing our essential work to support the mental health of even more young people."
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