The Duke of Cambridge has revealed that he has anonymously been counselling people throughout the UK’s Coronavirus lockdown. Kensington Palace revealed that Prince William has been volunteering with Shout85258, a text message based service which offers support to those in personal crisis.
The news regarding The Duke of Cambridge’s involvement with Shout was revealed to mark the end of the UK’s Volunteering Week which officially finished on Sunday 7th June. In a video call last month, Prince William told fellow volunteers, “I’m going to share a little secret with you guys, but I’m actually on the platform volunteering.”
Shout85258 was launched by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2019 following a £3 million investment in the service via their Royal Foundation. Since it’s launch, there has been over 300,000 text message conversations with many seeking mental health support.
Like every other volunteer on the platform, Prince William would have taken a pseudonym meaning that nobody would know they were talking to a member of The Royal Family.
Shout has over 2000 Crisis Volunteers, known as CV’s, all of whom have undertaken special training to perform this role. On the platform they will encounter those who are in real need of comfort and support with a large proportion of people saying that they feel suicidal. When a CV encounters someone who says they are about to take their own life, the CV will activate a “Active Rescue” – whereby the CV will continue gently talking to the texter while the Emergency Services are called in by a supervisor.
Each Crisis Volunteer for Shout is asked to commit to one year support and give around 200 hours of their time. It is understood that Prince William has taken on this same commitment.
Both The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also paid tribute to the 750,000 people who have signed up to be NHS Volunteer Responders in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Photo: World Bank