Read more about Their Royal Highnesses engagements while visit Glasgow, Scotland.
Roots of Empathy
The Duke and Duchess started their visit at St John’s Primary School in Port Glasgow where they joined a Roots of Empathy session.
Roots of Empathy is an early intervention programme run by Action for Children which has been developed to help children aged 5-13 build empathy. The programme uses a unique approach, with a local parent and baby (or ‘Tiny Teacher’) alongside a trained instructor guiding the children to develop empathy.
Their Royal Highnesses also met some older students who have completed the programme to hear their reflections and experiences and understand how the sessions have benefitted them.
The Roots of Empathy programme is aligned to much of The Duchess’ long-term work on early childhood, which highlights how good social and emotional development at a young age supports us to thrive as individuals, with one another, as a community and as a society. Last year, The Duchess launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood which aims to drive awareness of, and action on, the extraordinary impact of the early years.
The Duke and Duchess then visited the Wheatley Group site in Kennishead to see first-hand how they are transforming the lives of disadvantaged or vulnerable people, including those at risk of homelessness.
At Kennishead, Their Royal Highnesses met local tenants of Wheatley Homes Glasgow, part of Wheatley Group, who have been supported to maximise their access to employment and mitigate the impact of poverty.
They also visited the home of a family who have received support from Wheatley Homes Glasgow and live in one of their new-build houses, hearing first-hand the difference that support has made and the importance of good-quality, permanent housing.
University of Glasgow
At the University of Glasgow, The Duke and Duchess had the chance to talk with students about mental health and wellbeing – particularly pertinent during the University's exam season.
Taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week, Their Royal Highnesses met students, academics and recent alumni all involved in the topic of mental health and wellbeing. Researchers and students in the University’s School of Psychology and Neuroscience are focusing on mental wellbeing and how this can be influenced, both positively and negatively.
Their work, and the work of others, is helping to inform some initiatives at the University, and in the wider community of Glasgow, designed to support student mental health. These include peer support initiatives and student-led projects.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, The Duke visited programme called ‘The Changing Room’ launched by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in 2018.
Now delivered in football clubs across Scotland, Big Hearts Community Trust, the charity associated with Heart of Midlothian Football Club, was one of two pilot organisations to participate. The programme – a joint initiative between SAMH, SPFL Trust, the Movember Foundation, Scottish Government and football club charities and trusts across Scotland – is designed to bring together men aged 30-64 to increase their social connections and look after their mental health and wellbeing.
During the visit, His Royal Highness met with participants of the 12-week programme as well as practitioners who are helping to deliver the support. The Duke is passionate about using the power of football as a vehicle to promote good mental health.
From 2019-2020, His Royal Highness spearheaded Heads Up, a campaign run in partnership between The FA and The Royal Foundation, which was designed to harness the influence and popularity of football to kick off a conversation about mental health among supporters, players, friends and families.