The Duke of Cambridge has been video calling Scottish charities this week, when he would have ordinarily been in Scotland acting as the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has been cancelled and William’s planned visit to Scotland.
Instead, William has been chatting with Scottish charities that have benefitted from the National Emergencies Trust’s COVID-19 appeal, which was launched by the prince nine weeks ago. On Tuesday, William spoke with two organisations in Glasgow and Renfrewshire and Ayr: Finding Your Feet and the PEEK Project. On Wednesday, he spoke to Lifelines Scotland.
Scottish charities receive their National Emergencies Trust funding through The Foundation Scotland Response and Recovery & Resilience Fund to “small charities and grassroots groups that are delivering real results for the most vulnerable and affected during this crisis,” according to Kensington Palace.
The PEEK Project aims to provide healthy meals to young children and families who need it, and while chatting with a PEEK chef, Charlie, William revealed what dinner time is like at Anmer Hall, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have discerning palettes.
“It depends what’s on the table. If you put something on that the children love, then dinner time goes very well. But if you put something on they don’t want, it’s another ballgame,” he told the chef.
During his call with Finding Your Feet, a charity that provides physical and emotional support to amputees and people with limb absence in Scotland, William spoke with a beneficiary of the charity to hear how they provide emotional support during the pandemic, “which is particularly important at the moment as many of its members are ‘high risk’ and can suffer from loss of self-esteem and independence,” per Kensington Palace.
William also spoke to the charity’s founder, Cor Hutton, about how support from the National Emergencies Trust and Foundation Scotland have allowed the charity to “adapt their services, providing online and telephone counselling, as well as online lockdown classes.”
William’s chat with Lifelines Scotland was to hear how blue light workers and volunteer emergency responders are doing through the pandemic and to lend his support to them. Lifelines Scotland aims to “help individuals and organisations understand how to best protect and support the wellbeing of both volunteer emergency responders and blue lights workers as they encounter stressful and potentially traumatic experiences, and what can be done if someone sustains a psychological injury,” per Kensington Palace.
Among those present on the call were Gill Moreton, the founder of Lifelines Scotland, and members of the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, the Police Service of Scotland and the Scottish Mountain Rescue.
Since the National Emergencies Trust’s COVID-19 appeal began nine weeks ago, over £80 million has been raised and £30 million disbursed to charities in the UK, which is over 1,400 charities and organisations receiving funding.