Wednesday, 26 January 2022

The Duchess Celebrates a Million Conversations with Shout

The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in London today to visit Shout. The engagement followed a significant milestone for the text messaging support service: over a million conversations with those in need.

It's been an incredible journey to one million conversations. It all started in 2019 when Shout, the UK's first 24/7 crisis text line was launched by the Cambridges together with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It's one of several legacy projects resulting from the hugely successful Heads Together campaign. The team at the Royal Foundation contacted Crisis Text Line in the US to begin the process of bringing their successful model to the UK. It marked the Foundation's largest initiative to date, with £3 million invested. During the COVID-19 crisis, resources like Shout have been a lifeline for so many, and their model lends itself perfectly to supporting people in a time when so many charities and services have had to close their doors.

It was an opportunity for Kate to thank clinical supervisors, fundraisers and volunteers for dedicating their time to being 'that person' on the other end of a text making a real difference at any time -- day or night.

Kensington Palace said, "Shout has seen usage on its platform increase by 140% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Duchess will hear how the service will need even more volunteers to join its ranks to ensure that it can meet this growing demand."

Kate heard how insights from data are being used to provide a window into mental health in the UK today. The main reasons people have been reaching out seeking support are suicide (34%), depression (32%), and anxiety or stress (31%).

The Duchess spoke with Mark Ungless, Director of Data Insights, and Dr Jean O’Hara, Trustee, about the data.

The Duchess sat down with a group of volunteers to hear about their experiences to date. 

Volunteer Selena told the Duchess she joined "give back and help others who are in a similar place know that help is out there and there’s a light in the darkness."

Shout shared more on the conversation:

'The Duchess also spoke to Alexis (centre), who became a Shout Volunteer at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and has since taken more than 250 conversations with people struggling to cope. Alexis told The Duchess how his new book, Queer Up (Walker Books), was inspired by his night shifts for Shout where he spoke to young people facing many of the same questions and challenges he did growing up as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Around 1 in 3 of our texters identify as LGB+.'

Among those Kate met were 13-year-old Leo Street, who slept outside all last year to raise £8,000 for Shout.

Hello! writes:

'Kate joked: "There really isn't a big enough Scout badge for that. What you achieved is really inspiring."

"You must have had some impressive kit to keep warm," she said.

Leo, from Swanley, slept under a heavy-duty tarpaulin to shield from the extremities of the weather.

He told the Duchess his next fundraising adventure will be to cycle to Scotland during half term.'

The young Scout from Bromley chose to support the charity because he felt his peers "would find it easier texting rather than talking to someone if they need help”, and it was a comfort knowing that Shout’s volunteers are “only a text away to help” if you’re struggling to cope. Leo added, "I hope that through my efforts I will bring happiness to those that are struggling with the difficult times." Click here if you would like to donate.

Kate chatted to Cassie Waters, who began fundraising for Shout after she reached out to the service for support.

More on Cassie's story:

'I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for the last 10 years and, after finding treatment that worked for me, felt that I had reached a steady point in my journey. But in the summer of 2021, my mental health deteriorated and I went into a crisis. The floor fell from underneath me and I hit a new rock bottom.⁣⁣

When I was at my lowest point, I texted Shout 85258 quite a few times. Shout’s volunteers were incredible and I cannot overestimate how much I appreciate the help and support they gave me when the world felt impossible. ⁣⁣

I decided to walk 360,000 steps in September to raise money for Shout to help them continue doing their amazing and life saving work.'

Asked what advice she would offer someone considering fundraising, Cassie said, "My advice would be to set aside your judgments of yourself and what you can and cannot do. My mental and chronic illnesses meant that exercise and sports have always felt inaccessible to me and something that I couldn’t achieve. Before I began the challenge, 360,000 steps felt like an almost insurmountable task. I set aside the bigger picture and focussed on walking 12,000 steps a day. Slowly the numbers added up more and more and I hit the target two days early!"

Chief Executive Victoria Hornby said: "We would like to thank The Duchess of Cambridge for helping us to celebrate the commitment of our outstanding volunteers, fundraisers and clinicians who have made it possible for us to provide one million hours of mental health support to people in immediate distress. The support of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation has helped hundreds of thousands of people to get the help they need". Victoria added:"The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the mental health of the nation and demand for support has surged. To ensure we can continue to be there for everyone who needs us, 24/7, we are asking members of the public to join our pioneering community of volunteers today. You could help save a life."

You can contact Shout 24/7. It's free from all major networks in the UK and completely confidential.

A video from the engagement with nice footage of Kate talking to inspiring Leo.

The Duchess sported the Derek Lam 10 Crosby army green leopard print chiffon midi dress (with thanks to Emily).

The piece is described as: "Derek Lam 10 Crosby's 'Sammy' dress is the sort of piece that will work equally well for business meetings or dinner dates. Made from lightweight chiffon subtly printed with leopard spots, it draws in slightly at the waist and has a tiered, floaty skirt." The dress was reduced from £510 to £255 at Net-A-Porter before selling out.


Kate accessorised with her Asos gold plated earrings. They are currently back in stock for £10.


Kate wore her Ralph Lauren boots.


Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I think it likely we'll see Kate mark the day with an engagement.

33 comments:

  1. Her infatuation with bottom ruffles continues. Not a fan of the look, but this was such a wonderful engagement. What a tremendous operation. Bravo for all involved!

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    1. I agree. This style i would not feel comfortable with. I feel like i was dressed for some folklore festival in a village or something. But she looks great anyways. I feel that she intentionally wants to bring a traditional look from time to time to her image/role.

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  2. Love her look. Those boots are gorgeous.

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    1. I like it very much. Ruffles included. The dress moves beautifully and green is her colour.
      Shout is such an important project. Really needed

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  3. She looks beautiful, but this is just too busy. Not a fan of the flounce, puff-sleeves, and bow combined with the busy print.

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  4. Shout really seems like a great project that is set to become a staple among major British charities. Leo is such a trooper, so sweet to see that the youth is brave and ready to help.
    On another note, I don't remember the last time I was so underwhelmed by Kate's fashion choices. The colors do nothing for Kate and the fit is not particularly flattering either. Also in terms of themed clothing, I found today's engagement rather hopeful and positive, but Kate is dressed so dark and sombre. Bonus points for the beautiful earrings that add at least a tiny bit of spark to the gloomy outfit.
    Ella

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  5. I think because Kate is so tall she can get away with the ruffle - she looks amazing

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  6. Very happy to see Kate marking this wonderful 'Shout' initiative, which is really a much needed program! Am always amazed at how inspired and committed some people are to go to great efforts to help others, it is heartening to know such kindness still does truly exist!! Reading these posts are uplifting to me. As to the look, a bit on the fence, but think it's because I love it on the model with the bow left undone with no belt, rather than how Kate has styled it. There just seems to be too many elements, but with that being said, love the print and material of the dress with the boots. A very nice business casual look. Kate looks great and always is very present and engaged, which along with her smile continue to inspire me to make the most of my day in every way possible. Thank you Charlotte for your posts, reading this took a 'sour' morning attitude and made me look at the day from a different perspective!!

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    1. Thank you very much indeed. A lovely comment to read. I hope your day turned out to be a good one Anon :)

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  7. Love Shout! One of the best charities out there ! Awesome that Duchess Catherine is involved to highlight their great work.
    JD

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    1. Zora from Prague27 January 2022 at 15:18

      I agree, JD! And kudos to Leo the Boy Scout for his efforts - I was seriously impressed!!
      Thank you for the post, Charlotte!

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  8. An important organization doing essential work. That said, I'm not a great fan of the patterned midi dresses the Duchess likes so much, and I really dislike flounced hems, but she looks perfectly nice.

    Except for her hair. Too-long hair tends to drag down one's looks, especially if you have angular features as the Duchess (and I) do. I really wish she would get it cut a few inches shorter, with some softening and bounce-enhancing layering on the ends. She doesn't need to wear it very short -- my own is long, and I'm older than she is -- but it's really looking TOO long and less flattering than it could be.

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    1. Entirely agree about the hair length. When we get older we start to lose the fat in our cheeks and very long straggly hair drags down older gaunter features (like mine.) I note that most European royalty in the same age group with similar hairstyles are keeping their hair nearer shoulder length. Her outfits mirror her own preferences so I hesitate to say my taste is better than hers and will forbear any remarks about the choice of dress. Otherwise she is doing a great job supporting very worthy causes as usual. Her clothing is always appropriate for the occasion.

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  9. Sorry, but I dislike this dress very, very much.

    DP

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  10. Tammy from California26 January 2022 at 18:23

    I can't believe this was started in 2019, it seems like yesterday. Not a fan of the print on the dress or the ruffles. Although I could like all of that if her hair was maybe pulled back in a chic ponytail. Love to see her hard work pay off!

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  11. This dress is nice by itself, but Dss Kate wearing it today, is a bit boring, I feel to dark and the boots make it worse. She is a beautiful women she is entitled to a mistake.

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  12. I was just thinking that I very much like the fabric but am over bottom ruffles! It would have looked better, I think, if the top button was open. Happy she is still embracing her beautiful dark brown hair. :) And an excellent operation!

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  13. I am so surprized that nobody seems to like her look today? I love the dress and I love it on her. And it looks awesome with the boots!

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    1. MizBev in Colorado27 January 2022 at 00:30

      Lize you are not alone. I think she looks very nice. Hair, dress and boots all together. I would not wear a dress with a flounce like that but on her it looks great and the black accessories just brings it all together.

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    2. I really love it too!
      Federica

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    3. I like it! Very much indeed. Also I am glad to see her go back to dresses.

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  14. ye Gods, no. the pattern is just too much

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  15. She can make anything look good. She looks professional but it's clear she wants the focus to be on the event and not on her. Kudos.

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  16. She's tall and can carry off the ruffled look, as many people can't. And I think it was the perfect soft and gentle look for today's engagement. She has excellent taste and tact, both.

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    1. I agree Lori, I love the color of the dress and how it moves Think the darker color of the dress helps to balance the lightness and flow of the material, and it looks great with the boots! I would completely agree, she has excellent taste and while her choices aren't always to our personal liking, she rarely makes a misstep in terms of appropriateness. She looks good in these longer dresses and I like how she mixes up her style! I think we are seeing Kate step into her forties quite gracefully!

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    2. I agree that Kate can wear this very well. I like the darkness -- it looks cozy to me, during a cold day.

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  17. Love everything about this post! The Shout program, Kate’s look, the dress & the boots.

    I think the dark color is a perfect January choice.

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  18. I think the Duchess looks beautiful and knows her own style and body well. My only problem is how different the dress looks under professional lighting. I hate when you get something online and it's darker to the eye, or can't see the pattern as clearly. I think its such a shame she doesn't wear more expensive jewelry from the Royal vault by day. Also her late Mother in law had some beautiful gold jewelry. I suppose the main thing with this engagement is SHOUT. Fantastic work and well done to all those who work for and support this charity. I have said it here before, how important a simple phone call is. Be in for comfort, support or just to know that you have someone to ring. Well done to HRH for all she's doing for them. S. ☺

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  19. What an incredibly amazing and essential organization and how wonderful that it is being so properly recognized! And I think she looks wonderful..that smile says it all! xo

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  20. This indeed is a very much needed programme that is helping many people in real time. So glad that this initiative is doing such great work, especially during these pandemic times.
    It was thankfully a very timely initiative.
    I like the dress and boots together, and Kate carries off the look very well. I think her hair should have been pulled up into a pony tail, or been half up so that all that hair does not blend in with the material of the dress. If her hair were up we would see her face and the bodice of the dress more, and justice would be done to both.

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  21. I think this is a lovely dress, not keen on the tiered skirt but I love the rest of the dress. Especially combined with the boots and belt. The Duchess looks beautiful.

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  22. What a fantastic update post about SHOUT. I remember clearly when it was formed, seems like yesterday. I'm happy to see Kate truly engaged and enjoying this visit. The program has helped so many and by all accounts may be deemed a huge success. Good to see Kate out and about. She looks so polished and confident. I love her look today -- pulled together and trendy. I think she could make pajamas look great. Smart choice for this event. Just lovely.

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  23. I absolutely adore this look! Boots, dress, ruffleeverything. It is very poetic. But then, I'm an artist and writer. I think outside the box! Well done, Catherine.

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