22 March 2024

Kate ‘looking forward’ to work supporting children following cancer diagnosis

22 March 2024

The Princess of Wales has said she is “looking forward” to returning to work supporting children in their early years and mental health causes following her cancer diagnosis.

In a statement released on Friday, Kate said her work brought her a “deep sense of joy” but that for now her recovery would be her main focus.

She said: “My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.“

Much of Kate’s charitable and campaigning work has focused on highlighting the importance of children’s early years and supporting their mental health and wellbeing.

The royal couple are parents of three young children themselves, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five.

In March 2018, Kate hosted a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine highlighting the scientific link between early childhood development and later life outcomes.

Two years later, in January 2020, the princess launched a survey called “5 Big Questions on The Under Fives” which revealed that 76% of people in the UK are not aware that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important for health and happiness in adulthood.

The following year, Kate launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of children’s early years through research, campaigning and collaboration with other similarly aligned organisations.

Earlier this week, the Prince of Wales praised Kate’s passion for promoting children’s early years of development during a visit to a homelessness project on Tuesday in Sheffield.

William smiled and held up his hands when a participant mentioned the importance of children’s early years.

The prince said: “Venturing into my wife’s territory here. She needs to be sat here to hear this.”

Kate and William have also done a lot of work supporting mental health services and charitable causes which promote emotional wellbeing.

In 2016, alongside her husband and the Duke of Sussex, Kate launched Heads Together, their flagship mental health campaign which saw them work with a coalition of eight charities to start a national conversation on the issue.

Kate became a patron of Action on Addiction in 2012, a charity which says its mission is to “build awareness, celebrate recovery, improve understanding and reduce the myths that surround addiction”.

Speaking to young people gathered in Birmingham on World Mental Health Day in October last year, Kate said she hoped her work could “shape fairer, safer, kinder, more equal societies”.

She added: “Positive mental health is shaped by our ability to understand and manage ourselves as individuals, and to connect with others through our relationships, friendships, families and communities.”

The following day, the princess visited Nottingham Trent University to speak to students and staff about work to improve students’ mental health.

The couple’s Royal Foundation also established Mental Health Innovations (MHI) in 2017, a charity which aims to use the experience of clinical experts and data-driven approaches to improve the UK population’s mental wellbeing.

In 2019, the charity launched its text messaging service Shout, which allows people who are sad, lonely, or suicidal to access to round-the-clock, confidential real-time support.

Since its launch, the digital service’s 2,500 volunteers have taken more than 2,000,000 text conversations with 675,000 children, young people and adults.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kate and her husband endorsed a Public Health England initiative to boost the nation’s mental health.

The couple – in a partnership with Shout and charities Samaritans, Mind and Hospice UK – announced Our Frontline in 2020, a service offering emotional support to frontline key workers.

As a patron of children’s mental health charity Place2Be, Kate urged children and teachers to prioritise their mental health in a candid video message in February 2021.

To mark Children’s Mental Health Week in 2022, she made a surprise appearance on CBeebies to read a bed-time story to young viewers.

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