The Duchess of Cambridge met up with parents in a London Park today to hear how they have been helped fellow mums and dads through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kate visited the Old English Garden at Battersea Park to hear how peer support groups have continued to support parents during lockdown.
She heard from representatives of networks including Home-Start, National Childbirth Trust and MUSH about how they had struggled to meet up during lockdown and how important access to outside space had been to parents’ health and wellbeing.
WATCH: The Duchess of Cambridge meets mums supported by Home-Start in Battersea Park
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a smart casual look for her public engagement, rewearing her pink Marks & Spencer trousers that she first debuted in March.
Kate teamed the pencil trousers with a chic white T-shirt and trainers. She wore her hair loose and accessorised with hooped earrings and gorgeous layered Missoma chain necklaces.
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The Duchess shows off her maternal side
Kate was told how peer groups struggled to meet up in person during COVID-19 lockdown, but kept up their work on Zoom and regular phone calls.
Christine Thatai, 37, and Morgan Cassius, 29, told the Duchess they held daily 11am zoom calls with other mums via an app called Mush.
At one point, Kate removed her sunglasses and raised a smile cooing over Morgan's six-month-old daughter Makena-Grace.
Morgan said afterwards: "I told her lockdown was difficult because I couldn;t go swimming or meeting friends just stuck inside with the TV."
Christine said: "Kate was very interested in how we struck up friendships."
The Duchess had a busy day
Kate's visit to highlight the importance of parent-powered initiatives came after she joined a video with experts from eight different organisations.
She spoke with volunteers from Home-Start, Parents 1st, Island House Charity Community Parent Programme, Better Start Blackpool, National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Applied Research Collaboration – North West coast, Coram and Leeds Dads.
Thousands of parents across the UK use their experience to support other families, whether as paid professionals and trained volunteers or as part of more informal parent networks.
Kate praises peer-to-peer support
During the video call, Kate said: "A huge well done to all of you, I know there's a big team of you out there in communities across the country.
"Both William and I hear about how vital these relationships are to families – they're a real lifeline.
"So to you and your army of volunteers out there, a huge well done.
"I, like you, would love to see peer-to-peer support more embedded and celebrated in communities and society as a whole."
Sarah McMullan, of the NCT, who was on the call, said: "It was brilliant for the Duchess to put the spotlight on mental health issues and how peer support can make a difference."
Kate meets Home-Start volunteers
Home-Start volunteers give thousands of hours of help to parents tackling issues from postnatal depression to bereavement.
The Duchess was greeted by the organisation's chief executive Peter Grigg as she arrived at the park.
Kate's key focus
The Duchess' latest engagement follows on from Kate's longstanding work around supporting families, and children in their earliest years.
Since lockdown began, the Duchess has spoken with organisations supporting vulnerable families, videocalled midwives and nurses, launched the BBC Education initiative Tiny Happy People, and brought British brands together to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide.
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