On Tuesday, The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a smart look to carry out a virtual engagement and then visited the Old English Garden in Battersea Park in South London to hear about the importance of parent-powered support programmes.
In the morning, The Duchess attended a virtual call and spoke with representatives and volunteers from seven different organisations who run peer-to-peer support programmes. Members of Home-Start UK, Parents 1st UK, Island House Charity Community, Blackpool Better Start, Applied Research Collaboration, Coram Family and Childcare, and NCT – the UK’s leading charity for parents joined the Duchess in the discussion. Speaking to the group, Catherine said,
To you and your army of volunteers, a huge well done! Both William and I hear about how vital these relationships are to families – they’re a real lifeline. I, like you, would love to see it more embedded and celebrated actually in communities and in societies as a whole.
Then in the afternoon, The Duchess of Cambridge headed towards the Old English Garden in Battersea Park, where she met with the people from some of the above-mentioned organisations and parents who got support from these organization and learnt about the peer support.
About the visit, Palace said, “Today’s engagement follows on from the Duchess’s longstanding work around supporting families, and children in their earliest years. Since lockdown began the Duchess has spoken with organisations supporting vulnerable families, video-called 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“.
She met with parents who told her how COVID-19 impacted their lives and support system. They discussed how they can all lean on each other during difficult times. Peer supporters can provide valuable help in supporting parents’ emotional wellbeing, which is particularly important given that maternal mental health issues affect at least 1 in 10 women during pregnancy or early parenthood.
Across the UK there are many thousands of parents who use their time, experience and knowledge to support other parents and families. During the visit, Catherine was delighted to meet Morgan Cassius and her six-month-old daughter Makena Grace. Morgan told The Duchess about her experience as a mother during the lockdown. From Wandsworth Guardian’s report,
An online survey commissioned by organisations supporting parents and babies including Home-Start – has revealed a concerning picture for mothers, fathers and their infants living through Covid-19. Of 5,000 people questioned during the lockdown, almost 68% of parents felt the changes brought about by coronavirus were affecting their unborn baby, infant or young child – and reported an increase in behaviour like tantrums and crying.
Single-mums Irma Martus, 47, and Carol Elliott, 41, told the duchess how they had been helped out with weekly check-up phone calls from volunteer Home-Start Wandsworth during the pandemic. Afterwards, Irma, who was referred to Home-Start after her 22-month-old son Emmanuel was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, said: “She said she was passionate about support for single mums through peer support.”
The duchess also met mums Nalini Sadai and Jessie Brett who provide peer to peer mum support for the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). Both told her they use their own experiences when helping new mums.
Kate said: “It’s good being able to listen and be listened while being off guard. It is so important for your emotional well-being. With your experiences, it’s so important that you’ve been through it. Without what you are providing, that form of relationship, you can feel so isolated. You should be very proud.”
Christine Thatai, 37, and Morgan Cassius, 29, told the duchess they held daily 11 am Zoom calls with other mums via an app called Mush.
Kate removed her sunglasses and raised a smile, cooing over Morgan’s six-month-old daughter Makena-Grace. Christine said: “Kate was very interested in how we struck up friendships.”
A video of the day.
For the day, The Duchess of Cambridge chose a very stylish and casual look. She utilised fan-favourite Marks and Spencer Wool Blend Double Breasted Blazer and Slim Leg Trouser and wore M&S Wool Blend Slim Leg Cropped Trousers today.
The chic and stylish look had a new element – Lauren Ralph Lauren Nadalia Top. Thanks to HeavenQRF for the id.
Catherine paired the outfit with her Superga Cotu Sneakers.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore her Daniella Draper mini cupid hoops
Her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch and
Ray-Ban New Rubber Youngster Sunglasses finished the look.
Another new element of the look was All The Falling Stars Gold Three Layered Disc Necklace. Thanks to Kayla Adams for the id.
In the evening, The Duchess of Cambridge held a meeting with broadcaster Zeinab Badawi. Later on Rebecca English revealed that the famous broadcaster has joined The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a Director. Welcoming the new addition, Kensington Palace said, “The Royal Foundation is delighted to welcome award-winning broadcast journalist Zeinab Badawi to its Board of Trustees. Her work includes HardTalk and Global Questions for the BBC as well as the landmark History of Africa series. Ms. Badawi is Chair of the Royal African Society and has worked closely with The Duke of Cambridge in his capacity as Patron of the Society”.