The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked the Volunteer Week with a Zoom call to the volunteers around the country to thank them for the amazing support they are providing to their communities. William and Catherine spoke to the volunteers of Conscious Youth which is based in Kirklees, West Yorkshire and Machynlleth Community Corona Response in Powys, Wales from their country residence Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
The calls took place on Wednesday, but Palace released a video today. Both Conscious Youth and Machynlleth Community Corona Response rely on their volunteer networks to help run and support their services. Conscious Youth is an award-winning organisation that works with young people – mainly People of Colour and other ethnic minority backgrounds in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, and other parts of Kirklees in West Yorkshire and support young people aged 8 – 24 to turn their visions & aspirations into actions. Machynlleth Community Corona Response is a group set up to help people in Powys, Wales, during the coronavirus crisis. From Mirror’s Report,
Sophie Simpson, 38, who co-founded Conscious Youth with Serena Johnson, 35, said: “We were talking about the struggles of teaching at home. Both Serena and I are parents as well and I guess we totally understood their saying ‘we can’t teach maths and English like they do at school’.
During the call, Prince William joked about home-schooling his six-year-old son Prince George, saying: “I struggle with Year 2 maths.” The Duke and Duchess totally agreed that teaching Year 2 maths was very difficult. I could agree with them because I teach that as well and I’m struggling.
Their organisation, created in 2016, has set up a virtual youth club on a website during the coronavirus pandemic to support young people through the crisis.
Similarly, Machynlleth Community Corona Response is one of many mutual aid groups that have sprung up across the country to support to those in need during the pandemic and have been offering help with shopping, cooking and deliveries during the lockdown.
More than 120 volunteers in the market town of Machynlleth and surrounding villages go shopping for neighbours, man a telephone helpline, and cook and deliver nourishing meals for the vulnerable. Some also produce 3-D printed visors, scrubs and facemasks for health workers, and there is a mini-Land Army growing produce for the community in gardens and on land donated by local farmers.
Praising the youngsters, Duchess said, “It’s so impressive to see young people volunteering. I think the world would be a better place with more people like you in it.” There were jokes, gratitude and healthy sarcasm during the calls. From Express Report,
William seemed baffled by some of the shortages that have occurred during the crisis. “Can any of you explain to me why all of us were bulk buying toilet roll?” he asked.
He and Kate spoke to 91-year-old great grandmother Lynda Edwards-Ryley, who was lonely and isolated before Sadie, 31, began helping her with medication and then shopping before sorting her out with a speakerphone and iPad to help her keep in touch with her family. The two are now firm friends. “It’s just like having another daughter,” Lynda said, before regaling the couple with stories about when she had a Bentley. “I hope you didn’t get a speeding ticket, Lynda,” William said.
Sadie said the group intended to carry on after the pandemic is over and people now looked out for their neighbours much more than before. “I think people have really changed their view,” she said.
The young volunteer Cain said he started teaching young kids how to play chess. Duchess joked, “Cain you’ll have to give me some lessons because I’m terrible”. Duchess asked another young volunteer, “Would you recommend volunteering?” To which she responded yes, it’s such a good experience. Continuing from Express,
“They’ve had time, I think, to think about the kind of lives that they want to lead. Actually, the important things are where your food comes from and that you have a strong community and you look after each other. And I think people will carry that on.”
Kate, 38, said: “One of the things that would be amazing, I think, is if everyone in their communities is to carry on and still celebrate volunteering in the way that everyone has been during the pandemic.”
She added: “Everyone’s got something to give back.”
Before ending the call, Prince William thanked the volunteers, “It’s National Volunteering Week and we want to say a big thank you from both of us, Thank you for all the volunteering you’re doing, thank you for all the time and all the effort you’re putting in. It’s been hugely rewarding and important that you guys are doing that and, as we’ve heard from Lynda, all of you have been a lifeline to all the people who you’ve helped in the area“. Duchess concluded the call with, “You are giving so much back, not only to the young children but to your community as a whole. These small act of kindness, they go such a long way. You’re a lifeline to them.”
Today we also found a Royal Secret. You remember the Zoom Call, William and Catherine had with the SHOUT UK Volunteer’s on its first anniversary in Mid-May this year. Well, that call was missing a gem. Palace released a clip today in which Prince William said, “I’m going to share a little secret with you guys, but I’m actually on the platform volunteering.”
Palace confirmed today that Duke had been volunteering with SHOUT UK, which offers support via text message to people in personal crisis. Prince William said he had been answering messages after being trained by the mental health charity. During a visit to Devon last September in 2019, the Duke revealed that he plans to train. He said, “I’m aiming to set myself up for it, I really want to do it. Even if I can only do an hour on my laptop. I want to do the training and be able to help“. From the Express report,
Usually, its volunteers are asked to commit to 25 hours of online training and to work two to four hours per week to chat to people, using trained techniques via text messages to help them think more clearly about their problems and how they can solve them.
The palace confirmed William had completed his 25 hours training but would not say if he committed between two and four hours per week to the service. He actually told his fellow volunteers about his involvement on a video call last month but that part of the conversation was edited out of excerpts given to the media.
The volunteers were impressed. “Are you? That’s amazing,” said one, Jo Irwin. Victoria Hornby, chief executive of Shout, said: “You’ll be taking six or seven at a time in no time.”
But William insisted he would leave dealing with multiple calls at the same time to the more seasoned volunteers.
It is understood that palace officials had previously been reluctant to say whether William was volunteering for the service because they feared it might get overloaded by people hoping to discuss their troubles with the future King. But, although they still decline to say how often and for how long he does it, they disclosed his volunteering last night after checking that Shout was geared up to handle an expected increase in demand for the service.
Just like other 2000 volunteers of the crisis service, William uses a pseudonym on the platform, those texting the round-the-clock service would not know they are talking to the future King. Shout 85258 was launched by the Royals after the investment of £3m in the service via their Royal Foundation in 2019. About William’s participation, Shout UK tweeted,
We are proud to have The Duke as part of our family of 2,000 trained volunteers who have, since our launch, have taken 300,000, confidential text conversations with people needing support. The Duke’s experience and empathy for people experiencing difficulty are a fantastic asset to the service, underpinned by the training, supervision and support network of volunteers.
William and Catherine also joined the Give Us Shout‘s Crisis Volunteer celebration event at the Troubadour Theatre in London in November 2019. In a little over a year since then, more than 300,000 text conversations have been had on the service. Around 65% of those texting are aged under 25, the charity said, with many messengers seeking mental health support.
It’s not the only occasion when the Cambridge couple stepped out to help the community during the pandemic. The Family delivered homecooked food to the pensioners in the Norfolk. We saw some really great pictures of Princess Charlotte delivering food door-to-door on her 05th birthday in May this year.
For today’s video call, Duchess was wearing her M.I.H. Jeans Mabel Shirt that she wore in May 2019 when she visited Back to Nature Garden for the last time before it opened for public.
Duchess paired the shirt with her Accessorize Twisted Circle Drop Earrings that we first saw at the second reception during Ireland visit in March 2020.
In other news, Royal reporter Rebecca English said that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are thinking about undertaking physical engagements. Her Tweet today read, “Sources also say William & Kate want to try and resume visits in person as lockdown is slowly lifted. ‘We are looking at ways we can do physical engagements in the future in line with Government guidance,’ I’m told. The biggest issues are crowds and pressure on police resources.“
In interesting news, The Duchess received a very special entry to her Hold Still 2020 project that she launched earlier in May this year.CountessSophie submitted an image of a volunteer at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, Surrey. Titled ‘Packed with love’ the image taken on the Countess’s phone shows Ali Abbas, 26, who helped to establish the mosque’s food parcel delivery service for NHS workers, people self-isolating and other families in need during the Covi-19 outbreak. Palace caption said, “Ali’s smile captures the enthusiasm for helping others that is so evident amongst the volunteers.”
The Rumble Online on Twitter noted that The Duchess of Cambridge has been personally commenting on few of the entries of her Hold Still 2020 project that she launched earlier in May this year on social media. The comments are signed off with ‘C’. It’s the first time we saw Catherine’s comment on Social media.
Dailymail reported that a mini-parade is being planned to be held next week to mark Queen’s official birthday. Trooping the Colour was scheduled to held on June 13 this year but was cancelled due to the pandemic. Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh is also celebrating his 99th birthday next week. It is believed that no member of the Royal family will be travelling to attend either of the celebrations due to the Government restrictions.
The 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐬’ 𝐂𝐂 on Twitter noted that Court Circular has an entry of another engagement. The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron, Action on Addiction, spoke to clients and staff at Clouds House via video link on June 04. we might hear about this soon.