Prince William warns children are being ‘tested more than ever’ at SkillForce Gala

Prince William has warned that school children are facing ‘considerable’ pressure, and are being ‘tested more than ever’, during a speech at a gala in aid of the Children’s Trust and SkillForce last night.

The Duke of Cambridge also criticised the impact that social media has on young people’s self-esteem and confidence.

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The second in line to the throne said, “The pressure on young people these days is considerable – almost certainly more than even for my generation not so long ago.”

“Children are tested more than ever before and are being prepared to enter a highly competitive work market. On top of this, there is a sense of being ‘on call’ 24/7 through social media, and the subsequent strains this can have on relationships, home life and, ultimately, a child’s sense of their own self-worth. It can all take its toll!”

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“Role-modelling and giving a child the tools of courage, discipline and resilience are a demonstration of great love and commitment to that child’s success in life.”

“If you are not taught these skills at a young age, it can be very, very difficult to learn them as an adult.”

William’s criticism of social media echoed the comments of his younger brother, Prince Harry, during September’s Invictus Games, when the Prince remarked: “You all know it’s great to ‘like’ things on social media, but that it’s more important to look up from our phones, to get out into our communities and to take real action, to stand up for what you believe in.”

Last night’s gala was held at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, north London, and marks the launch of the Prince William Award, aimed at helping children aged 6 to 14 develop their self-confidence.

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The event was held in aid of Children’s Trust, which helps children suffering from brain injuries, and SkillForce, who work with ex-servicemen and women to teach young people vital life skills, such as leadership, resilience, and self-esteem through school workshops and mentoring schemes. The Duke has been patron of SkillForce since 2009, which supports young people in over 220 primary and secondary schools across Great Britain.

The gala marked the beginning of a new partnership between the two charities, where military veterans from SkillForce are to help children with brain injuries rebuild their lives.

Hosted by comedian, David Walliams, who is an ambassador for the Children’s Trust, guests at the event included Dawn French, Vanessa Redgrave, and Elaine Paige.

Prince William met with some of the celebs taking part in the evening prior to the event.

The audience of 480 was treated to a special acrobatic display, with the theme of the evening being the circus. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2016, magician Lance Corporal Richard Jones, who has performed for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, took to the stage to carry out a magic trick with the help of The Duke of Cambridge.

The magician tweeted, “A dangerous trick on stage with Prince William last night, supporting the great work of 2 fantastic charities.”

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