Duke and Duchess of Cambridge become joint patrons of NHS Charities Together

7 December 2020, 11:02

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are met by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Sandra Cumming
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are met by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Sandra Cumming. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will become joint patrons of NHS Charities Together, it was revealed during their Royal Train tour on Monday.

The announcement came as William and Kate visited Newbridge in Edinburgh to meet representatives of the Scottish Ambulance Service and thank them for their incredible efforts.

The Scottish Ambulance Service received funding from NHS Charities Together, which has been spent on indoor and outdoor wellbeing spaces for staff, as well as wellbeing packs with information booklets and reusable water bottles.

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Kensington Palace said William and Kate's visit on Monday had added poignancy as it falls on the day the Scottish Ambulance Service remembers a colleague lost to Covid-19.

The 240 NHS charities in the UK provide extra funding and additional services above and beyond what NHS core funds, supporting hospitals, community and mental health services and ambulances services.

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Responding to the announcement, Ian Lush, Chair of NHS Charities Together, said: “This is such an honour for our organisation and for all the NHS charities across the UK.

"The involvement of Their Royal Highnesses will inspire the public to do even more to support the amazing NHS staff and volunteers who have done so much to keep us safe and well this year.

"We can’t wait to start working with The Duke and Duchess, the potential is so exciting.”

The couple travelled overnight after setting off on Sunday evening from London's Euston station on the 1,250-mile, three-day tour, which will see them thank communities, outstanding individuals and key workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple are expected to meet the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at their final stop.

It is believed the trip is Kate's first official journey by royal train, despite having been a member of the monarchy for almost a decade, while the duke has used it a number of times.

Network Rail staff altered the departure boards for the occasion, changing Wolverhampton to Warmerhampton, Coventry to Coventry Carol, and Northampton to Northpolehamton.

During their tour, William and Kate will highlight the impact of extraordinary public generosity during the coronavirus pandemic, showcasing charities such as NHS Together and meeting frontline workers, teachers, mental health professionals, care workers and schoolchildren.

They will also celebrate examples of community spirit by showcasing the arts, heritage and the live performance sector.