The Duchess of Cambridge has shared a message of thanks on Twitter after more than 10,000 items were donated to baby banks following her initiative.
Kate, 38, posted a rare personal message on the account she shares with her husband Prince William, following the success of her campaign to support vulnerable families during the coronavirus crisis.
She said: “Baby banks are driven by incredible volunteers, demonstrating the power of community spirit in supporting families and coming together to raise the next generation.
“Thanks to the generosity of the companies taking part in the #SupportingBabyBanks initiative, baby banks across the UK will be able to support even more families through this particularly challenging time.”
While it’s not unusual for the duchess to share a message of thanks, her comments don’t often appear on social media in this way.
It could be another sign of changes that she and her husband are implementing in their social media strategy after hiring David Watkins, who used to work for Prince Harry and Meghan.
Kate had brought together 19 British brands to donate to more than 40 baby banks, after visiting one in West Norfolk in private.
"Baby banks are driven by incredible volunteers, demonstrating the power of community spirit in supporting families and coming together to raise the next generation". — The Duchess of Cambridge #SupportingBabyBanks pic.twitter.com/5GMzCFzUXY— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) August 7, 2020
The duchess admitted she had burst into tears after one visit as she heard the stories of those struggling during the pandemic.
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.”
Thanking companies, including John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Matalan for donations, she added: “Having somewhere to turn to for support is important for all families, and baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need.”
Earlier this week, the duchess visited a baby bank in Sheffield where she helped unpack donations and spoke to families about how the banks have provided for them during difficult times. It was her first engagement in a face covering.
Kensington Palace cited a 2018 survey which showed one in 100 families in England with children under five have visited a baby bank.
It also said a survey from Little Village, one of the banks helped by Kate’s initiative, showed an increase in demand for the services of baby banks during lockdown.
But banks cannot accept second hand items during the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly four in five have a desperate need for nappies and mattresses, as well as other products.