Duke of Cambridge reveals he has been volunteering on a counselling hotline

5 June 2020, 22:30 | Updated: 5 June 2020, 22:31

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanked volunteers for all their hard work
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanked volunteers for all their hard work. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed he has been volunteering as a counsellor on a 24/7 crisis hotline developed by the Royal Foundation.

Speaking to volunteers of the Shout 85258 helpline last month, he said he had a "little secret" to share as he told them he had also been helping out with the counselling calls.

The revelation comes as both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked Volunteer Week in the UK by expressing their gratitude to volunteers up and down the country.

On Wednesday, the royal couple spoke to volunteers with two organisations - one that enhances the emotional resilience of young people and another set up to help during the pandemic - to say thanks for all their hard work.

Speaking over the phone, the duke told them he wanted to say "a big thank you" for the time and effort put in.

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He said: "It’s been hugely rewarding and important that you guys are doing that and you have been a lifeline to all the people who you’ve helped in the area."

The first organisation, Conscious Youth, which is based in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, discussed with the couple about their youth-organised events and projects that help other young people in the community.

Princess Charlotte helped her parents delivering food parcels to the isolating elderly
Princess Charlotte helped her parents delivering food parcels to the isolating elderly. Picture: PA

They explained how it had been important to encourage those coming through the programme to also volunteer themselves.

Two of the volunteers on the call explained how they had got involved and how COVID-19 had affected their work.

The second organisation, Machynlleth Community Corona Response, based in Powys, Wales, told the duke and duchess of their varied work during the pandemic - with their 100-strong team 3D printing personal protective equipment (PPE) and delivering meals to those who need them.

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It had also set up a phone line to keep in contact with vulnerable groups who need help with shopping and prescription services - or are just in need of a chat.

"One of the things that would be amazing is if everyone in their communities was to carry on and still celebrate volunteering in a way that they have been during the pandemic," the duchess said in response. "Everyone’s got something to give back."

On mental health awareness week, the couple encouraged people to reach out to people and chat
On mental health awareness week, the couple encouraged people to reach out to people and chat. Picture: PA

Both the duke and the duchess are no strangers to volunteering themselves, alongside the Shout platform.

Both visited the Sandringham Estate as a family back in April to help pack and deliver food parcels to the elderly self-isolating in the immediate area.

They released pictures of their daughter Princess Charlotte out on a run dropping off bags of pasta for those nearby.

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