On Thursday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Wolverhampton in honour of Mental Health Awareness Week. Specifically, the Duke and Duchess visited three local organisations based in the area that support children and younger people with their mental health and wellbeing.Embed from Getty Images
First, they paid a visit to The Way Wolverhampton Youth Zone, a local organisation that motivates and inspires young people to transform their lives. The visit saw the couple try their hand at several activities, including football, archery, table tennis, and gardening. It was even a time for laughs when a 14-year-old HeadStart programme ambassador asked the Duke what he would like to be called.
To laughter, he replied: “My name, which is William. If you call me Dave, I probably won’t answer.”
As for the Duchess, she spoke of her love of spending time outdoors with their three young children. They then ditched the gardening gloves to join a group of children in an exercise to highlight the importance of nature and outdoor activities when it comes to mental health. HeadStart is a programme designed to improve children’s resilience and emotional well-being by giving them the skills they need to address the challenges of modern life.Embed from Getty Images
After visiting the Youth Zone, the couple headed to Base 25, a city-centre charity that supports young people who have difficulties accessing mainstream services. Working with 9,000 young people a year, the organisation offers a variety of services for children and their families. Alan Jarvis, head of the service, told the Duke and Duchess:
“Our service has changed to adapt to the needs of young people. We never closed any of our services, and we saw a sharp increase in people committing self-harm and being targeted for child sexual exploitation.” After more private conversations, William and Kate sat with school children who have been taking part in outdoor activities with youth workers and therapists.Embed from Getty Images
Lastly, the Duke and Duchess travelled to HugglePets in the Community, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2018 that assists in Animal Assisted Therapy. HugglePets works with over 25 different schools throughout Black Country to provide programmes to help support children and their mental well-being on anxiety, confidence, and suicide awareness. The Duke and Duchess took part in one of the sessions, joining children from Loxdale Primary School before visiting the centre’s Sensory Activity Centre and Community Aquarium.Embed from Getty Images
Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health. Hosted annually by the Mental Health Foundation, 2021’s theme is centred around nature and the important role it can play to help improve one’s wellbeing.