The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million to help support those working on the front line, and mental health in response to COVID-19.
William and Catherine yesterday announced that their charitable foundation has shared this money to ten leading charities in these two areas. These are:
- Hospice UK
- the Ambulance Staff Charity
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
- Best Beginnings
- The Anna Freud Centre
- Shout 85258
- The Mix
The Royal Foundation was set up by Prince William and Prince Harry in 2009, as a way to focus funding on causes the brothers most cared about, mainly the armed forces, conservation and, more recently, mental health.
Catherine joined the charity in 2011, when she married and became The Duchess of Cambridge, with Meghan following suit in 2018, before the royal wedding.
The Duke and Duchess met with representatives from the organisations receiving their grants at Sandringham earlier in the week, a group which included emergency responders and mental health counsellors. They heard about the challenges facing these organisation in the midst of a pandemic, and how mental health support will be needed.
The Royal Foundation is funded entirely by donations from unnamed supporters.
“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,” Catherine said during the meeting.
Thanks to the grant, Hospice UK will be able to offer individual grief trauma counselling, in partnership with NHS England, for all frontline workers. The current death toll stands at over 45,000.
Mind will begin its Blue Light programme again, to help reduce stigma around mental health in the emergency services, as well as double the capacity of counselling or bereavement training for ambulance staff through the Ambulance Staff Charity. CALM will be able to increase the time and number of people on its helplines, which should mean they can respond to 2300 suicide-related enquiries each month.
Psychiatrists have warned of a “tsunami” of mental illness from problems stored up during lockdown, linked to facility closures, self-isolation and fear of hospitals.
The couple have also shared their personal experiences from their family’s time in lockdown during video calls as a means to continue royal work: “It’s been ups and downs, like a lot of families self-isolating. George is much older than Louis is and things, but they are aware, I’m always surprised,” Kate said.
“And although you don’t want to scare them and make it too overwhelming, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge it in the simple ways and age-appropriate ways.”
Place2Be and the Anna Freud Centre will offer more online training and resources to help mental health schemes in schools, including self-care and managing anxiety as schools re-open, while an extra 20,000 new mothers will be supported in a mental health training project led by Best Beginnings.
“It’s great to hear how The Royal Foundation is supporting you and many others to build resilience and give you the networks you need through its Covid-19 Response Fund, which will help ten leading charities continue their crucial work,” the Duke told the representatives.