The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been championing the Frontline Workers since the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world. Taking a steady step ahead, Kensington Palace announced that The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million to 10 leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support through a bespoke fund set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19. The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund is the Foundation’s first crisis response fund and reinforces The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s ongoing commitment to the frontline community and the nation’s mental health – two of the areas that will continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the months and years ahead.
Palace said, “The grants aim to build on the work that the Foundation has already done in recent months to support those on the frontline of the pandemic in the UK, and the mental health sector. The Royal Foundation has consulted extensively with these sectors, identifying where it is uniquely placed to add value. Today’s grants build on and expand the support already being offered by Our Frontline, which was launched in April to ensure that frontline staff and key workers have access to vital mental health resources and support.“
The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, in partnership with NHS England, aims to support the nation’s mental health during this time, and in the months and years ahead. The grants will allow mental health charities to increase their capacity for the helpline and chat services to meet rising demand. Some of the key attributes of the grants are:
- All emergency responders will have access to individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK;
- Over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support through Mind’s Blue Light programme;
- The Ambulance Staff Charity will be able to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community;
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) will be able to respond to 2,300 more contacts each month;
- Shout 85258 will be able to have 250 more text message conversations with people who are struggling to cope every day;
- The Mix will expand its group chat service for young people to seven days per week;
- Teachers, children and their parents will be supported to cope with mental health needs including self-care and managing anxiety as schools re-open, thanks to training and resources from Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre; and
- Best Beginnings will deliver a Digital Outreach Programme and maternal mental health training to Home-Start volunteers and midwives so an additional 20,000 expectant and new mothers will be supported by Baby Buddy, their NHS approved pregnancy and parenting app.
Funding will also build the capacity of the Heads Together partners as they work together on campaigning activity to directly address the nation’s mental health as the population adjusts to life after COVID-19.
Ahead of the grant announcement, The Duke and Duchess spoke to four representatives from organisations which will benefit from the fund, including two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors. They met the representatives at Queen’s Sandringham Estate where the Cambridge family has been living during the pandemic.
William and Catherine heard about the challenges organisations are facing and how mental health support will be needed both for those working on the frontline and those delivering vital support to the nation. While speaking to frontline workers and mental health counsellors earlier in the week, The Duchess of Cambridge said,
“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.”
For the meeting, The Duchess of Cambridge wore a white Suzannah London Cotton Shirt Dress with an all-over design of small tonal blue graphic polka dots. Thanks to Caroline Parr for the id.
The £995 dress has a semi-fitted bodice with a classic shirt collar and elbow-length, cuffed sleeves. The skirt features subtle box pleats which give the dress plenty of volume and movement at the hem. The dress is fully lined in cotton and features invisible side seam pockets and a coordinating tie belt.
Inspired by the recent work of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their Royal Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund, Suzannah London chose to donate 20% of each sale of this dress towards The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC), who help and support amazing front line NHS workers.
The Duchess paired the dress with her Castaner Carina Wedges
and her Daniella Draper Mini Cupid Hoops that came with shamrock charms but this time Duchess wore the hoops only.