Duchess of Cambridge, 39, visited Baby Bank UK in Sheffield in August last year CEO Cat Ross said Kate ‘genuinely’ wanted to hear of their experiences Added she was ‘unashamed to share her difficulties that she faced in parenting’
The Duchess of Cambridge was ‘unashamed’ to ‘share difficulties’ as a parent on her Sheffield Baby Bank UK visit in August last year, the CEO of the charity has claimed.
Kate Middleton, 39, who shares Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, with husband Prince William, was visiting to launch a new initiative she 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.
‘I think what struck me the most about the Duchess was her genuine interest,’ explained Cat Ross, CEO of Baby Basics UK, speaking to Hello! magazine.
‘She genuinely wanted to hear of our experiences, she wanted to hear directly from families that had accessed our services, what their experiences were like and was really unashamed to share her difficulties that she faced in parenting and really been able to relate to families about what it’s like raising children with three children herself.’
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, but 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 – who has previously visited Baby Basics in West Norfolk the start of the crisis – decided to put out feelers for donations from brands and high street retailers.
In all, she persuaded nineteen brands to donate more than 10,000 items to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities.
When Kate visited, Baby Basics UK had 37 centres across the UK and it has now expanded to 51, while there are now 27 brands who donate to the charity on a regular basis.
CEO Cat Ross went on to praise the impact of Kate’s initiative as ‘amazing’ and added how donations have ‘absolutely snowballed since the Duchess got involved’.
‘The Duchess has helped to raise the profile of baby banks and Baby Basics UK, we’ve seen more and more brands come on board and their support to us has been absolutely phenomenal,’ she told the publication. ‘It’s really exciting to see how they’ve embraced what we do and they’re really passionate about supporting us and supporting families.’
Cat also explained how she regularly updates Kate Middleton on the charity’s progress since the initiative launched last year.
‘We regularly communicate with the Royal Foundation and the Duchess about what’s happening with Baby Basics and where we’re opening new centres,’ she explained.
‘It’s just to keep her informed about the impact that continues to happen from the launch of the baby banks initiative that she started with those brands and just how it’s developed for Baby Basics since then.’