The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced grants totalling nearly £1.8 million from a COVID-19 fund established at the beginning of the pandemic.
William and Kate announced the news on social media, writing that they have granted the money to “10 leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support through a bespoke fund” and “build on the work that The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has already done in recent months to support those on the frontline of the pandemic in the UK, and the mental health sector.”
The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund has been operating in conjunction with the NHS England and will ensure that “all emergency responders will have access to individual grief trauma counselling and over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support,” according to Kensington Palace.
“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,” the Duchess said.
Some of the ways the Royal Foundation’s grants will provide support include: allowing all emergency responders access to individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK; access for over 250,000 emergency responders to peer-to-peer support with Mind’s Blue Light programme; support from The Ambulance Staff Charity; access to more people from the CALM organisation; access to more people using the SHOUT 85258 organisation; additional group chat service provided by The Mix to young people, who will be able to access the services every day of the week; mental health resources offered by Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre; and a digital outreach programme from Best Beginnings to train Home-Start volunteers in maternal mental health practices to help expectant and new mothers with the Baby Buddy app.
The fund will also provide support to Heads Together partners “as they work together on campaigning activity to directly address the nation’s mental health as the population adjusts to life after COVID-19,” the Royal Family website says.
Earlier this week, William and Kate met with representatives from four of the charities. This included two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors who chatted with the royal couple about “the challenges facing organisations and how mental health support will be needed both for those working on the frontline and those delivering vital support to the nation.”
Prince William said: “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.”