Kate opened up about her emotional visit to a baby bank in Sheffield on Tuesday. The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a face mask for the first time as she sported a reusable cotton floral face mask from London-based label Amaia.
Kate spoke of how she went home and wept after visiting a baby bank helping vulnerable families at the start of lockdown.
She said: “It can get very emotional.
“I remember a couple of the families I met from King’s Lynn and I went home and literally burst into tears, their stories were so moving.
“The struggles they have gone through, the bravery they have shown…in extraordinary circumstances.
“Helping their families through extraordinary times.
The mother-of-three was talking at a visit to a Baby Basics UK.
Kate visited the organisation to launch a new initiative she has spearheaded, getting 19 major UK retailers and brands to donate more than 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks across the UK.
Baby Banks are a crucial nationwide service, run by volunteers, helping to support some of the most vulnerable families in the UK by providing essentials such as nappies, clothing and bedding.
Most of those who seek their help come on professional referral from services including health visitors, midwives and social workers.
The banks have proved to be a lifeline for many struggling parents during the coronavirus crisis.
However, they have found their services under increasing pressure, both as a result of demand and because they have been unable to accept second-hand donations on health and safety grounds.
Hearing of this, Kate decided to put out feelers for donations from brands and high street retailers.
As a result 19 brands donated more than 10,000 items to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities, who operate more than 40 baby banks across the UK.
In pictures posted on the Kensington Royal Instagram account, Kate is seen wearing an apron and rubber gloves as well as the mask as she helped to unpack the first donations, which included clothes and toys.
One user commented: “Kate looks beautiful even with a mask on.”
A second added: “I’m incredibly proud to call her our Future Queen. Outstanding work, as usual!”
Another said: “This is great initiative by the duchess. Well Done,” paired with a thumbs up emoji.
Kate got stuck in as she shifted boxes of donations, helping staff from Baby Basics UK which started ten years ago in Sheffield, who have teamed up with two other baby bank services, Little Village and Aberdeenshire-based AberNecessities.
Cat Ross, CEO of Baby Basics, told the Duchess: “Often in a world where there is a lot of judgement and stereotyping about being poor, that additional stress can be even more difficult for parents who are doing amazing things to keep their families going with such strength, such determination.”
Kate responded: “Yes. One of the mums I met was a nurse.
“These are families who do fantastic jobs and even they are struggling.
“All of the research shows how vital things like this are for them and that they are being recognised.”
The Duchess also talked at length about what the impact of COVID-19 would be, particularly for children.
“It’s difficult for sure but there is a lot of fear about worry about when furlough ends and what it means for families,” said Miss Ross.