COVID-19 response fund

Since the start of the pandemic, Their Royal Highnesses have brought together partners from across the mental health, frontline and bereavement sectors to understand for themselves the challenges faced by these sectors during COVID-19 and to identify what support was needed. The Royal Foundation has also consulted extensively with these sectors, identifying where it is uniquely placed to add value.

As a result, 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’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. 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
  • 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.