Kate joins the Scouts: Ex-Brownie to help with cooking and campfires as package of royal patronages is unveiled
Kate will make the Scout promise to 'do my duty to God and to the Queen'She enrolled as a Brownie when she was eight in Pangbourne, Berkshire
In training: Brownie Kate in 1990 who will become a volunteer helper with the Scouts
The Duchess of Cambridge is to become a volunteer helper at her local scout group as part of a new package of royal patronages.
Kate will wear the Scout Association’s distinctive blue shirt, scarf and famous woggle as she lends a hand at meetings close to the rented farmhouse she shares with Prince William on Anglesey.
She will also be required to take the Scout Promise – vowing to ‘do my best to do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people, And to keep the Scout Law’.
Founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907 to help young people with their ‘physical, mental and spiritual development’, Scouting movement requires members to be loyal, friendly, courageous and considerate – as well as keeping to the famous motto to ‘Be Prepared’.
At the age of eight, Kate enrolled as a brownie with the 1st St Andrew's pack in Pangbourne, Berkshire, so has some experience of the movement.
From next month she is due to help out on an ad hoc basis with cub scout packs and beaver scout colonies in the North Wales region, working with boys and girls aged from six to ten. Girls have been allowed to join the Scouts since 1976. Last year 4,330 joined the movement, compared to 3,796 boys.
According to the Scout Association Kate will lend a hand with the day-to-day working of her packs as well as activities including running games, teaching first aid and helping out with cooking and campfires.
A St James’s Palace spokesman told the
Mail that the Duchess had been keen to become involved as she ‘loved
the idea of Scouting and working hands-on with children’ and felt it
tied in with her own interest and hobbies, particularly the outdoors.
More importantly, however, she hoped to raise public awareness of the dire shortage of adult volunteers.
Scout spirit: The Duchess of Cambridge rowing a Dragon boat as she races a boat against her husband, across a lake in Dalvey by-the Sea during a tour of Canada last year
KATE TO MAKE SCOUT PROMISE
The Duchess of Cambridge will have to make a formal declaration of the Scout promise and undertake to obey their law and motto when she becomes a volunteer.
The Scout Promise:
On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people
And to keep the Scout Law
The Scout Law
A Scout is to be trusted.
A Scout is loyal.
A Scout is friendly and considerate.
A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.
The Scout Motto
there are more than 500,000 Scouts in the UK, there is currently a
waiting list of more than 33,500 children due to the lack of helpers.
‘The Duchess is to become a volunteer in
the Scout Association, volunteering her time privately with groups in
north Wales and elsewhere as opportunity arises,’ a royal aide said.
‘Scouting very much reflects her own interests and hobbies and in doing so she hopes to highlight the urgent need for more young people to volunteer their time to help out.’
Adventurer and Chief Scout Bear Grylls welcomed her involvement, saying: ‘The Duchess has an incredibly busy life, which makes it all the more inspiring that she has chosen to volunteer alongside us.’
Famous former Scouts include Sir Richard Branson, Jeremy Paxman, David Beckham, David Bowie, Sir Cliff Richard, Tony Blair and Russell Brand.
Details of the Duchess’s new scouting role were revealed by St James’s Palace yesterday alongside four other charities of which Kate has agreed to become patron, tackling everything from drug and alcohol addiction to children with behavioural issues.
Scout movement: The Duchess of Cambridge accepts flowers from a young member of the movement as she leaves Sandringham Church after the traditional Christmas Day service
Charity support: From next month she will help out on an ad hoc basis with Cub and Beaver Scouts in North Wales, working with boys and girls aged six to ten
Patron: The duchess will work with the Scouts and four other charities including the National Portrait Gallery
These are: Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, The Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery.
All reflect her interests in the arts – she gained a 2:1 in History of Art at St Andrew’s University – the promotion of outdoor activity and supporting people in need, particularly young children.
Every member of the Royal Family undertakes royal patronages, indeed it is the mainstay of their public work.
But while the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are patron of some 1400 organisations between them, Kate has deliberately decided to start with just five.
Following the lead of her husband, Prince William, the Duchess says she wants the chance to become intimately involved with causes close to her heart rather than spread her largesse too thin.
Although she has been publicly criticised for not starting work sooner following her April 2011 wedding, Kate has refused to rush into her royal duties and spent last autumn researching which charities she wished to become involved with and making private visits.
Unsurprisingly, given the Duchess’s phenomenal profile on the world stage, her office was inundated with requests for her support.
But Kate also had a strong idea of what she herself wanted to do and asked her staff to approached other charities on her behalf.
She will embark on her new solo royal role while her husband is stationed with the RAF in the Falklands next month.
Juli Beattie, founder and director of The Art Room, said having the royal as a figurehead would make an enormous difference to her small charity’s profile.
The campaigner, whose organisation uses art therapy to help children with issues like low self-esteem and Asperger's syndrome, said: ‘We're absolutely delighted, we're overwhelmed and thrilled.
‘This is just fantastic, it will raise the profile of the charity and get people to see the work we are doing.’
Duchess so moved by meeting families at children's hospice she was driven to become a patron
During a private visit last autumn to learn more about the work of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), the Duchess met the families of several children who moved her to become their royal patron.
Fleur Clemence and her twin sister, Sophia, were born on May 4 last year. It should have been a joyous occasion but instead it was tinged with enormous sadness.
For tragically while Sophia was a healthy baby, it was discovered during a pre-natal scan that Fleur had a rare heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Charity support: Charlotte and Grant Clemence with their daughter Sophia. Sophia's twin sister Fleur was born with a rare heart condition last year and she could not survive
The condition meant the left ventricle of Fleur’s heart was severely underdeveloped and her devastated parents, Grant and Charlotte, were made aware even before she was born that their daughter would not survive.
‘We were first-time parents and didn’t know what to expect with healthy children, let alone a poorly child,’ said Charlotte, 35, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The young mother, who was under the care of Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, and her husband, were given invaluable support by EACH.
‘It was a great help to know that support was going to be there for us and we weren’t going to be alone in making decisions about Fleur’s care,’ she said.
‘The pathway between Addenbrookes and EACH meant we could take both Fleur and Sophia home and make the most of the short time we had with Fleur.
‘We had spent the first night in hospital, which was incredibly important to us for medical support, but there really is no comparison to be made between being on a hospital ward and being at home with our daughters.
Madi Balaam (right), from Bury St Edmunds plays with her brother Noah (left) and sister Connie (centre) at the East Anglia's Children's Hospice in Milton, Cambridgeshire
‘Each staff gave us reassurance and comfort in the position we were in and did memory making with us. We took Fleur’s hand prints and did finger painting; things we would never have thought of, but which are invaluable now and we’ll keep them forever. ‘
The charity’s staff also helped Charlotte and Grant care for their healthy daughter, Sophia, so they could concentrate on Fleur who, tragically, lived just a few days.
‘This meant we could spend as much time as possible with Fleur without having to rely on family and friends in what was a really difficult time for us,’ Grant, 38, said.
‘We didn’t want Fleur to be in pain or discomfort and EACH helped us to manage her care. As parents they gave us reassurance and comfort.‘
The couple are so thankful for the help they have received that they are raising more than 50,000 for the charity – but say the announcement of the Duchess as its new patron is the best news it could have received.
Happy: Madi Balaam plays with Care Assistant Anna Mayes at the EACH
Royal support: Graham Butland, Chief Executive, outside the children's hospice which the Duchess of Cambridge is becoming a patron of
The couple, whose surviving daughter Sophia is now a bouncing, healthy eight month-old, met Kate on a private visit to the Milton Hospice in Cambridgeshire.
‘The announcement that The Duchess of Cambridge is to become Royal Patron of EACH is fantastic news,’ Charlotte said.
‘We really can’t think of a better charity than EACH, as caring for sick children is so important.
‘The fact that it’s been recognised by the Royal family will really help everyone involved. Not only in understanding what EACH does but also highlighting the charity and encouraging people to raise funds. This will ensure care and support can continue to be delivered to families who need it.
‘We met The Duchess at a recent private visit to the Milton hospice and she was really interested in our story and experiences with EACH. The Duchess showed genuine interest to all the families and staff she met and it really will be a great boost.’
AND THE FOUR OTHER NEW GOOD CAUSES THE DUCHESS WILL SUPPORT…
Action on Addiction
Following in the footsteps of her husband’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Kate is to become patron of this charity which not only works directly with addicts but also provides support to their families and educates professionals in the field of addiction.
It has treatment centres throughout England, including Dorset, London, Merseyside and Wiltshire, many of which the Duchess plans to visit personally.
As part of her research, Kate recently paid a private visit to Hope House in Clapham, south west London, where she spoke at length to a number of clients about their addictions and the battles they have overcome on the road to recovery.
The charity doesn’t deal with issues such as drugs and alcohol – although these are a huge part of their work – but also helps those suffering from addictions to gambling, sex, shopping and even exercise.
Chief Executive, Nick Barton, said: ‘It is a great honour for the Charity that Her Royal Highness has chosen to become our patron. We are very grateful to the Duchess whose support will enable us to keep the issue of addiction in the spotlight.
‘Addiction is a consuming condition that results in a great deal of harm to individuals, families, communities and society as a whole – yet is not always well understood or responded to effectively.
‘We are thrilled that the Duchess will be supporting us in our mission to free people from addiction and its effects.’
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH)
Funding drive: EACH needs to make 4.8million in public donations to deliver its services this year
EACH delivers care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Support can be provided wherever the family wishes – in their own home, in hospital or at one of their hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quidenham.
It can take the form of short breaks care, specialist play activities, music therapy, hydrotherapy as well as care at end of life and, sadly, bereavement support for all family members.
As a registered charity, it needs to raise around 4.8million in public donations to deliver its services this year. This amounts to more than 13,000 a day – every day of the year.
Chief Executive Graham Butland, said: ‘EACH is honoured and extremely proud to have The Duchess of Cambridge as Royal Patron.
‘Having our work recognised in this way is not only a tribute to our staff and supporters, but a huge boost for the children, young people and families receiving our care and support.
‘The Duchess’s support will help us increase the awareness and understanding of the full range of services we offer children and families, and really celebrates the great work being done by all children’s hospices across the UK.
‘We are also very excited to be one of only a select number of organisations to be invited to join The Princes' Forum, which brings together the charitable interests of The Duchess, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and look forward to the many opportunities that will bring.’
The Art Room
Aimed at helping 5-16 year-olds who are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties, the charity offers art therapy as a means of increasing children’s self-esteem, confidence and independence.
It currently operates five Art Rooms in Oxford and London – and has a presence in 12 schools overall – but hopes to expand their work with the Duchess’s help.
She came on board after two of the charity’s staff wrote to St James’s Palace to ask for her patronage – showing a little chutzpah can go a long way – and subsequently visited their Islington base privately.
Founder of The Art Room Juli Beattie and Mark Miller, Head Teacher of Robert Blair Primary School in Islington, north London at a session run by the Art Room charity
The Art Room currently helps 270 children a week, many of whom are disengaged from mainstream education, disruptive or withdrawn.
Students have a variety of problems, including learning difficulties and autism, or have had an interrupted education.
Some have recently arrived in this country, others are prime carers within their family or are ‘looked-after’ children in the care system. Others might just need a respite from the pressures of mainstream education.
The Art Room has demonstrated that in a creative environment even the most challenging children can develop through art – whether it be painting a picture or decorating a keepsake box out of ribbon and buttons.
Grant Phillips, chairman of the board of trustees, said: ‘Obviously we are thrilled by the Duchess has become our Royal Patron, particularly as she comes from an art background and has extensive knowledge of the subject. Our work has shown time and time again that children who are not succeeding in mainstream education can be helped through art therapy.
‘We hope that the Duchess’s involvement will not only raise our profile but help us to raise much needed funds to expand and continue our work.’
The National Portrait Gallery
Boasting the most extensive collection of portraits in the world – including one of the Duchess’s own husband with his brother Prince Harry – the gallery was a natural choice for art historian Kate.
Artists range from Holbein to Hockney and the collection – which stands at more than 160,000 portraits from the 16th century to the present day – includes work across all media from painting and sculpture to photography and video.
The Gallery was founded in 1856 to collect portraits of famous British men and women with the strict criteria that the Gallery was to be about history, not about art, and about the status of the sitter, rather than the quality of the portrait. This criterion is still used by the Gallery today.
Kate spent a day at the gallery privately last autumn, visiting each of its departments to learn more about their work.
‘She was incredibly enthusiastic and clearly knowledgeable,’ said a spokeswoman.
The gallery confirmed yesterday that discussions were underway to have a portrait painted for their new patron to sit alongside that of her husband, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry.
Professor Sir David Cannadine, Chairman of Trustees, said: ‘I am very pleased to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as the National Portrait Gallery's Patron. This is a matter of great pleasure for the Trustees of the Gallery and all its staff and supporters and we much look forward to working with her in the future.’