Duchess of Cambridge tweets rare personal message of thanks for baby bank donations

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

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.

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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.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wears gloves and an apron as she helps to unpack supplies during her visit to Baby Basics baby bank in Sheffield, northern England on August 4, 2020. - Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. In the UK, they are powered primarily by volunteers and typically run on professional referral from services such as health visitors, midwives and social workers. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate wore gloves and an apron to help to unpack supplies during her visit to Baby Basics baby bank in Sheffield. (Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wears a face mask or covering and gloves due to the COVID-19 pandemic, helps unpack supplies during her visit to a baby bank in Sheffield, northern England on August 4, 2020. - Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. In the UK, they are powered primarily by volunteers and typically run on professional referral from services such as health visitors, midwives and social workers. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate wore a face mask when she was indoors during the visit. (Getty Images)

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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.