Youth Zone at Home: OnSide's response to Covid-19
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited The Way Youth Zone on Thursday 13th May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Their Royal Highnesses met with staff and young people and heard about the support The Way has offered young people since opening in 2016 and, in particular, during the pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess were welcomed by young ambassadors from the charity HeadStart Wolverhampton and took part in wellbeing sessions with young people. As part of the session they took part in a mind-mapping activity based around nature, the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Royal couple then headed outside where they helped a group of primary school children plant fruit and vegetables. Members from The Way then showed the Duke and Duchess the urban graffiti wall they had been working on before they moved onto the MUGA (multi-use games area) to take part in some football, table-tennis and archery.
Carla Priddon, CEO of The Way, said:
“We were delighted to be able to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to The Way Youth Zone and to talk to them about some of the ways that we are helping children and young people to improve their mental health and wellbeing. It was a privilege to show The Duke and Duchess around and to enable them to take part in a mind-mapping activity with the young people and to help plant fruit and vegetables in our garden.”
This is the first time that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited an OnSide Youth Zones. In 2012 The Earl of Wessex opened Blackburn Youth Zone and in 2013, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Manchester Youth Zone. The Duke of Sussex has made three visits to Youth Zones, starting with Wigan in 2016 and then going on to visit The Hive with the Duchess of Sussex, and Future in 2019, as well as being a guest at the first ever OnSide Awards.
The visit of Their Royal Highnesses fell ahead of Mental Health Minute (Friday, 14th May) – a one minute message simulcast across over 500 UK radio stations at 10.59am. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are voicing this year’s minute alongside influential voices in support of Shout 85258.
Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health, hosted annually by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is centred around nature and the important role it can play to help improve mental wellbeing, as well as its power to prevent or aid recovery from poor mental health.