The Royal Foundation has granted nearly £1.8 million to ten leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support, through a bespoke fund set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19. The grants aim to build on the work that the Foundation 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 has consulted extensively with these sectors, identifying where it is uniquely placed to add value. Today’s grants build on and expand the support already being offered by Our Frontline, which was launched in April to ensure that frontline staff and key workers have access to vital mental health resources and support.
The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, in partnership with NHS England, aims support the nation’s mental health during this time, and in the months and years ahead. The grants will allow mental health charities to increase their capacity for helpline and chat services to meet rising demand. Together, the grants made through the COVID-19 Response Fund ensure that:
- All emergency responders will have access to individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK;
- Over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support through Mind’s Blue Light programme;
- The Ambulance Staff Charity will be able to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community;
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) will be able to respond to 2,300 more contacts each month;
- Shout 85258 will be able to have 250 more text message conversations with people who are struggling to cope every day;
- The Mix will expand their group chat service for young people to seven days per week;
- Teachers, children and their parents will be supported to cope with mental health needs including self-care and managing anxiety as schools re-open, thanks to training and resources from Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre; and
- Best Beginnings will deliver a Digital Outreach Programme and maternal mental health training to Home-Start volunteers and midwives so an additional 20,000 expectant and new mothers will be supported by Baby Buddy, their NHS approved pregnancy and parenting app
Funding will also build the capacity of the 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.
Earlier this week, The Duke and Duchess spoke to four representatives from organisations which will benefit from the fund, including two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors. Their Royal Highnesses heard 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.
While speaking to frontline workers and mental health counsellors earlier in the week, The Duchess of Cambridge said: “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 Duke added: “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 Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund is the Foundation’s first crisis response fund, and reinforces The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s ongoing commitment to the frontline community and the nation’s mental health – two of the areas that will continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the months and years ahead.