The Duchess had engagements today focused on the value of parents supporting other parents and the mental health benefits that kind of activity can provide.
This morning Her Royal Highness spoke with representatives and volunteers from eight different organisations who run peer-to-peer support programmes about their services and the impact that COVID-19 is having on families across the country….A key part of many peer support networks is the ability to meet up and spend time together, which has been affected by COVID-19. The Duchess heard from parents about the impact this has had on them, and how important access to outside space, such as Battersea Park, is to their health and wellbeing.
A clip from the call.
Across the UK there are many thousands of parents who use their time, experience and knowledge to support other parents and families.
This morning The Duchess spoke with representatives and volunteers from seven different organisations who run peer-to-peer support programmes. pic.twitter.com/1emTYGBKOB
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 22, 2020
Organizations taking part in the call included: Home-Start UK, Parents 1st UK, the Island House Charity Community Parent Programme in Tower Hamlets, Better Start Blackpool, NCT (National Childbirth Trust) New Parent Support, Applied Research Collaboration North West coast, Coram Parent Champions National Network, and Leeds Dads.
Kate then met new parents at Battersea Park.
We learn more from The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness:
The Duchess, who met with mothers and their babies in a park to discuss the challenges of “lockdown” parenting, said connecting with others essential for their “emotional well-being”.
One of the organizations involved is Home-Start, a national charity supporting families and helping parents build better lives for their children. Volunteers at local Home-Starts support over 32,000 families every year. This is from The Daily Mail’s piece by Rebecca English.
Single-mothers Irma Martus, 47, and Carol Elliott, 41, told the duchess how they had been helped out with weekly check-up phone calls from volunteer Home-Start Wandsworth during the pandemic.
Kate said: ‘Does it help emotionally too? You feel less judged? Everybody needs to have those friendships’ Adding: ‘It must be difficult to meet up socially distancing.’
Afterwards Irma, who was referred to Home-Start after her 22-month-old son Emmanuel was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, said: ‘She said she was passionate about support for single mothers through peer support.’
The duchess also met mums Nalini Sadai and Jessie Brett who provide peer to peer mum support for the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). Both told her they use their own experiences when helping new mums.
Kate said: “It’s good being able to listen and being listened while being off guard. It is so important for your emotional well-being. With your experiences its so important that you’ve been through it. Without what you are providing, that form of relationship, you can feel so isolated. You should be very proud.”
The Duchess had on two new necklaces today, one of the few times I remember her layering multiple necklaces. We’ll start with the top strands, part of what looks like the Double Strand Beaded Satellite Chain Necklace from Spells of Love. The necklace’s top strand measures 14,” and the bottom strand is 16″, with an additional 2 inches of adjustment chain. It is “a super thick 2.5 microns of 18K Gold over 925 Sterling Silver.”
You may recall Kate wore earrings by Spells of Love for August engagements in South Wales. The independent Welsh firm was founded by designer Hayley Jones, who focuses on eco and ethically conscious designs. Thank you to Middleton Maven for her ID of this piece.
We haven’t identified Kate’s other necklace with the initial charms. It looks like each charm has two layers, with the smaller size showing the initial of each Cambridge child, sitting atop a slightler larger circle.
UPDATE #1 SEP 23: The Daily Mail reports the initial charm necklace is also by Spells of Love. As I don’t see anything on the company’s site that looks similar, I have emailed for confirmation the necklace actually is by the company.
UPDATE #2 SEP 23: Haley at Spells of Love was kind enough to get back to me and she says the necklace is not one of her designs.
UPDATE #3 SEP 23: The necklace is by an Irish artisan jeweler called All The Falling Stars. Below, an Instagram post from the jeweler dated May 24, explaining a personalized version of this necklace was given to Kate when she was in Galway. The design is called the Personalized Gold Three-Layered Disc Necklace ($127.65). Thank you to Lauren for her ID work on this!
The company describes itself this way: “All the Falling Stars designs handcrafted jewellery pieces with a delicate and minimalist aesthetic. Our designs embody a playful elegance and each piece comes beautifully packaged, sent with love from our studio in the west of Ireland.”
The Duchess brought back a Halcyon Days Maya Torque bracelet ($165) in 18ct gold plated twisted brass with glass cabochons at each end. It was first noted in January for one of Kate’s engagements launching the Early Years Study.
She also repeated her Daniella Draper Mini Cupid Hoops ($245), worn initially with shamrock charms.
Kate carried her Ray-Ban ‘Youngster’ Sunglasses ($147).
She also had on her Cartier Ballon Bleu wristwatch.
We’ll leave you with one more photo of the Duchess today.
Simon Vigar of Channel 5 News has a two-minute piece covering the day.
The Duchess of Cambridge visited new lockdown mums and their babies today to encourage them to look for help during tough times.
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) September 22, 2020
The Royal Family Channel offers more than three minutes of raw video.
- Learn more about Home-Start on the group’s website; its Facebook page is here; the charity’s Twitter feed is here.
- Hannah Furness’s Daily Telegraph piece is here; Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard article is here; The Daily Mail coverage from Rebecca English is here;
- Emily Nash’s story for Hello is here;