Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex is well known for her involvement with charity. In the latest issue of Good Housekeeping, she shares her hopes for the future and how she's been motivated by the people she's met through her charitable work.
As Patron of the NSPCC (of which Good Housekeeping is the charity's magazine partner) and Childline, HRH opens up about how young people inspire her, the charity’s amazing work and how adults can help children navigate different challenges.
Back in June, Good Housekeeping was pleased to be able to join The Countess on a socially distanced visit to Childline’s headquarters, where Her Royal Highness completed her first shift as a helpline volunteer and thanked everyone for their work during lockdown - after the pandemic saw a huge increase in demand on their services.
On her charity work, Her Royal Highness opened up about how she felt being asked to be patron of Childline. “When Esther Rantzen launched Childline in 1986, I was watching the television," she explained. "It struck me immediately as a brilliant response to a problem that I had no idea was so big. I was shocked by the number of children being abused in this country, coupled with the realisation that they had nowhere to turn for help. I was so impressed with what Childline was attempting to do. But I could not have imagined that, 19 years later, Esther would ask me to become patron."
In 2016 she took over patronage of the NSPCC from Her Majesty The Queen: “This was the first patronage that Her Majesty asked me to take on and I accepted the honour immediately. The NSPCC is one of the UK’s most well-known and respected children’s charities and its name has been familiar to me for as long as I can remember. I am proud that I can support the work being done to prevent child abuse and neglect, and support those who do not have adults that protect them.”
She also revealed how she'll teach her children Louise, 16, and James, 12, to navigate social media in the future. “At the moment, my children aren’t into social media, however, it is here to stay, so it’s important for them to understand it and for us to equip them with the tools to navigate it successfully. Again, I think openness is one way families can support their teenagers.
"If children feel they can discuss issues and worries with their parents, without fear of them, or their friends, being judged, this may give opportunity to help them with what can be a complex and very pressured area. It’s so important that young people have adults in their lives who support and affirm them. Particularly when the virtual world can be, at times, unkind. Young people need to know they can trust someone with a problem, be that a person directly involved in their life or, of course, Childline is always there for them.”
Read the full interview with The Countess of Wessex in the October issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale the 26th of August. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect
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