Prince William reveals he’s had a secret job during the pandemic - and many will have spoken to him without realising

The Duke of Cambridge has been working as a crisis helpline counsellor for support charity Shout 85258

Prince William Duchess Catherine

Prince William and Duchess Catherine have been doing their bit for National Volunteering week.

It’s been a difficult time for many of us, but one silver lining is seeing those coming forward to help those struggling within communities.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s commitment to raising awareness for mental health issues is well known, but it has been refreshing to learn that Prince William himself has taken on a more frontline role.

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Prince Williamtook on the role of a support counsellor forShout 85258– which is a 24-hour text messaging helpline for those struggling with mental health issues – to mark Volunteers' Week.

MORE:Prince William gives loving nod to Duchess of Cambridge during documentary

The Duke revealed that he’s been secretly volunteering during an online call with key workers. Joined by the Duchess of Cambridge, the couple celebrated the first anniversary of the service.

"I'm going to share a little secret with you guys, but I'm actually on the platform volunteering,” he told them.

The Shout helpline was developed by the Cambridges’Royal Foundation.2,000 volunteers were trained to support those who contact the helpline via text message, working through their emotions together, offering support and empathy.

MORE:What Prince William really thinks of the Middleton family

Since Shout was launched in May last year, more that 33,000 text conversations have taken place, with around 65% of those texting in aged under 25, as reported by The Guardian.

The Duchess of Cambridge has also been volunteering this past week, taking part in theRoyal Voluntary Service’sNHS volunteer responders scheme with ‘check in and chat calls’ with those self-isolating or vulnerable.

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The Duke and Duchess's volunteering efforts are virtual - for now. But can we expect these to become physical after lockdown is lifted?

"As with other royal households we are looking at ways we can do physical engagements in the future in line with Government guidance," the source told the Independent.

"The biggest issue was trying to organise royal engagements in a way that does not attracts crowds or put pressure on police resources."

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman& in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.

Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 

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