After yesterday’s Foundling Museum visit, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and Catherine, once again stepped out together and visited Lancashire. The engagement was an embargoed one and we did not hear anything about the visit until the couple arrived at the Clitheroe Community Hospital, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust where they learned about the “unique challenges” rural health providers have faced due to the pandemic over the past two years.
During the visit, Prince William and Duchess Catherine, who are the joint patron of NHS Charities, met GPs, nurses, and others who work across the Ribble Valley community, both to understand their experiences and to congratulate them on continuing to deliver a high standard of care for the elderly and sick patients within the hospital and in the rural community, despite experiencing the busiest services on record.
From ELHT’s report,
Professor Eileen Fairhurst, Chairman of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Clitheroe Community Hospital. The visit will provide a huge boost to the entire team at a time when colleagues are feeling exhausted from our ongoing and relentless response to Covid and indeed the very difficult challenges linked to the Omicron variant.
“As Chairman, I want to add my thanks to NHS Charities Together and our own hospital charity team at ELHT&ME, who have worked tirelessly throughout the past two years with patients, their families, the wider community and indeed many, many local businesses to ensure our staff have been supported. We have suffered greatly and lost many people, including colleagues, but through grant funding and also donations of goods and money locally we have been able to look after colleagues and support health and wellbeing in a range of ways. It gives me tremendous pride to know that this has made such a huge a difference to people and will continue to do so for many years to come.”
They also heard how support from the hospital charity ELHT&Me, using a grant from NHS Charities Together, helped to support exhausted colleagues at the Trust, including funding a new therapy puppy who will be introduced and named during the visit. William and Catherine became the patron of NHS Charities Together in December 2020. There are more than 40 NHS charities across the UK and most of them focus on helping our hospitals do more. Collectively these charities give £1 million every day to the NHS so that people can stay well for longer and get better faster. In recent years NHS charities have funded major capital projects, pioneering research and medical equipment at our hospitals, helping patients access the best possible care when they need it most.
From Burnley Express’s report,
Sarah Caton, a Matron at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, working in the Community Hospitals based at Pendle and Clitheroe, said: “I have seen first-hand the impact on health and wellbeing of colleagues during the response to the Covid pandemic. It has been an extremely intense, relentless, and exhausting time for everyone in the NHS and throughout my 34-year career, I have not experienced anything like this. East Lancashire has been particularly affected by the pandemic and we have lost so many people, including beloved colleagues, to Covid. The team has supported patients and their families through some difficult times but just as importantly we have supported each other and continue to do so. We couldn’t have gotten through it otherwise. The funding provided by both NHS Charities Together and the hospital’s own charity ELHT&Me has been so important to us. The staff has been provided with health and well-being packs, meals, and hot drinks places for rest and respite, therapy, wellbeing rooms, and more.
About the visit, Kensington Palace said, “While many of those with Covid has been admitted to larger, urban hospitals, pressures across the system have meant that frontline staff at Clitheroe Community Hospital have felt the strain. NHS Charities Together, of which the Duke and Duchess are royal patrons, has been instrumental in providing mental wellbeing support during this challenging period. Across East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, over £300,000 of funding allocated by the charity has helped establish wellbeing services that support over 9,000 staff, including break-out spaces, wellness packages, and therapies. At Clitheroe, this funding will provide for a staff wellbeing room, among other services.”
The Royal couple got a chance to meet a special member of the carers team – Alfie, an apricot cockapoo puppy, who just joined the hospital as a therapy dog. He will join six-year-old Jasper in supporting patients.
The next stop of the day was Church on the Street in Burnley – a project that supports homeless people run by Pastor Mick Fleming. Mick is a former drug dealer who set up Church on the Street in 2019 to help the homeless and people living in some form of poverty in Burnley and the surrounding area. Occupying a former gym, Church on the Street provides a food bank, a clothing bank, hot showers, laundry facilities, a café, recovery groups, addiction and mental health support, access to a qualified counselor, and a safe space for up to two hundred people at any one time.
From Daily Mail’s report,
There are church services held on Sundays, led by Pastor Mick with help from a number of volunteers and staff. The royal couple met with Mick, volunteers, and staff to hear about their motivations for working with Church on the Street as well as a number of service users to hear about their experiences first-hand.
The Church maintains an open-door policy and visitors can get the help they need to solve their immediate problems, whether that be a food parcel or simply a place to warm up. By building relationships with repeat visitors and through faith, Pastor Mick is able to support those in need to help them change their circumstances and allow them to get on with their lives.
Several thousand people have passed through the Church’s doors in search of support since it was first established. Mick is now in discussions with local authorities, external support agencies, and the NHS with the aim of providing further support for people who are struggling with their mental health.
The Duchess of Cambridge was pictured greeting Trudi and Alastair Barrie and their daughter Anastasia during a visit to charity, Church on the Street, in Burnley, Lancashire, where she met with volunteers and staff as well as a number of service users to hear about their experiences first-hand.
The Duchess of Cambridge is wearing Massimo Dutti Limited Edition Button Cashmere Wool Camel Coat.
The Duchess of Cambridge debuted a new set of a sweater and a skirt today. Catherine wore Iris & Ink Éloise ribbed merino wool-blend turtleneck sweater. The $190 sweater was described as, “Coveted for superior softness and warmth, Iris & Ink’s merino wool-blend sweater deserves extra adoration because the fibers have been sourced from farms that keep animal welfare top of mind. Suspended from a cozy turtleneck, this ‘Éloise’ style has a tactile ribbed panel that seamlessly blends into a slim silhouette. This item has been made with wool derived from farms that take a progressive approach to manage their land, practice holistic respect for its sheep, and respect animal welfare.”
The Duchess was wearing Iris & Ink Ernestine Ribbed Merino Wool-blend Midi skirt.
The $215 skirt was described as “Iris & Ink’s ‘Ernestine’ midi skirt has been spun from a soft merino wool-blend that’s been responsibly sourced from farms that value animal welfare and earth-conscious practices. Detailed with contrasting ribbed-knit panels, the curve-hugging style falls to a gently flared hem for ease of movement. This item has been made with wool derived from farms that take a progressive approach to manage their land, practice holistic respect for its sheep, and respect animal welfare. “
The Duchess paired her outfit with matching-toned suede long boots. Mallory on Twitter suggested that it could be Saint Laurent Jane Boots. This classic pair is made from soft suede and arrives at a knee-high length featuring a calf leather upper with leather lining. It has a leather sole and insole and comes with a square toe and side zipper.
Catherine was wearing her Missoma Rhodochrosite Gold Mini Pyramid Charm Hoops.
Yesterday, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Foundling Museum.