Duchess of Cambridge helps charity Shout mark milestone of one million conversations

·3-min read

The Duchess of Cambridge praised a teenage Scout who raised £8,000 for mental health text service Shout by sleeping outside in a hammock for a year.

Kate met Leo Street, 13, and called the teenager “an inspiration” after he braved temperatures as low as minus five to raise money for the charity.

During a visit on Wednesday, the duchess 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.

Mark Ungless, 49, analytics experts that children as young 13 and under formed 8 per cent of their texts – mostly between 10pm and midnight

“I told the duchess we were surprised by the number of very young people reaching out and the time too. It needs addressing,” he said.

Shout – is the UK’s only 24/7 mental health text service. The Duchess’ visit marks Shout’s milestone achievement of one million conversations with those in need.

Her visit celebrated the mental health service reaching over one million conversations with people in need (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Her visit celebrated the mental health service reaching over one million conversations with people in need (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Kate’s visit to the centre in Notting Hill was to mark the mental health text service reaching over one million text conversations with those in need and struggling to cope.

The duchess was also told that conversations taking place on the Shout can be used to provide insights on mental health in the UK.

Suicide (34 per cent), depression (32 per cent) and anxiety or stress (31 per cent) were cited as the main reasons why texters have sought support.

During the visit, Kate also viewed a live demonstration of the platform before joining a small group of Shout Volunteers to hear about their experiences of helping those in distress.

 (PA Media)
(PA Media)

She was also being and how they have personally benefitted from taking part in the service, including by gaining new skills and developing a sense of purpose.

Shout has seen usage on its platform increase by 140 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and Kate was hearing how it needs more volunteers to join to ensure it can meet growing demand.

She also met Cassie Waters who began raising money for Shout after using the service herself when she suffered mental health challenges in 2021.

During her visit, Kate also met clinical supervisors as well as volunteers and fundraisers to thank them for their invaluable efforts to ensure that vital mental health support is available across the UK at any time of day or night.

 (PA Media)
(PA Media)

She heard how the service is inviting members of the public to become Shout Volunteers to meet growing demand for support.

Kate looked lovely in a leopard print dress when she visited the mental health text service in London.

She donned a £355 khaki green dress from US designer Derek Lam.

Shout, which was launched in 2019 with a founding grant from The Royal Foundation, provides round-the-clock support from clinical supervisors and over 2,500 trained volunteers to people struggling with their mental health.

The service was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first major project with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the service launched following a £3 million investment from the Royal Foundation in May 2019.

Since its launch in May 2019, Shout has taken over 1,000,000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support.

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