What a weekend it was! The sun shone, the crowds gathered and the royal wedding went off with some strong style, diversity and excitement all round. But as the festivities have wound down, I thought today might be a great time to highlight some of the multiple charities that the young royals Will, Kate, Harry and Meghan (also known as the fab four) have supported and nurtured over the years. Whether you’re a royalist or not there’s no denying that the royal family advocate for a lot of charitable causes, and it only seems fair to give these organisations their time in the spotlight too. So if you’ve found yourself a little royalty mad after this weekend, here are some of the causes the royals work with, and ways you can support them too.
The wedding charities
Mental Health: Heads Together
In 2017 Harry, William and Kate spearheaded the Heads Together mental health campaign, aiming to change the national conversation on mental health through leading a coalition of eight mental health charity partners. The team of charities are Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Best Beginnings, CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably, Contact (a military mental health coalition), Mind, Place2Be, The Mix and YoungMinds. The campaign aims to build on existing progress nationwide in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health needs. In particular William has focused on male mental health, Harry has focused on mental health for veterans, and Kate has focused on mental health in schools.
You can get involved with the campaign in many ways, from as simple as starting conversations on mental health to larger undertakings such as doing a challenge for mental health, or volunteering with the Heads Together charity partners. You can see the current impact report here and find full information on getting involved here.
In 1997 122 countries signed the Mine Ban Treaty, with 40 more joining since then. The treaty was signed just three months after the death of Princess Diana, who played a pivotal role in raising awareness for the banning of landmines. However the effect of landmines lives on: while 29 countries have been cleared 63 are still contaminated, and global deaths and injuries from landmines hit a ten year high in 2015. Prince Harry has followed in his mother’s footsteps in his support of the Landmine Free 2025 campaign, which works to reenergise support to landmine clearance. The campaign focuses on three areas: asking states to increase government funding and aid for mine action, using embassies to support country-level and regional dialogue and increase national funding; asking mine action NGOs to work more closely with each other and national authorities to support or develop plans for clearance and the funding to achieve it; and asking the public to get behind clearance and campaign to increase government and private support to complete clearance. The campaign is led by the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and The Halo Trust, the world’s two leading landmine charities. Together they have the expertise and capacity to meet the 2025 deadline, they just need the support and funding. You can get involved here or here, or next time you buy a piece of jewellery consider purchasing from sustainable brand ARTICLE 22, who both donate proceeds to MAG to clear ordnance in Laos, and support Laotian artists who use shrapnel from exploded ordnance to create their jewellery.
Founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso in 2006, Sentebale supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. They work with local grassroots organisations providing education, care and youth empowerment programmes, as well as HIV testing, counselling and prevention service. Get involved here.
Started in 2014 by Prince Harry, the Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and veterans to compete. The games aim to make sure that injured troops are not forgotten, as well as using the power of sport for recovery, rehabilitation and challenging perceptions on disability. Volunteer here, donate here or get involved from afar here.
In April 2016 the Royal Foundation launched their taskforce for the prevention of cyberbullying, bringing together technology companies, NGOs and independent advisors to tackle the issue. Most recently this led to the launch of StopSpeakSupport in 2017; the first national, youth-led code of conduct for the internet, aiming to reach every 11-16 year old in Britain. The campaign is part of The Royal Foundation’s taskforce on the prevention of cyberbullying. Support the Anti-Bullying Alliance, one of the taskforce’s main partners, here.
Centrepoint is the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. Originally supported by Princess Diana, Prince William has been Centrepoint’s patron since 2005. Together with their partners Centrepoint supports nearly 10,000 homeless young people each year; helping 16-25 year olds into a safe place to live, giving them a health assessment and planning support for their individual mental and physical health needs, before starting them on a path to more independence and a job. Make a donation here or get involved here.
United for Wildlife is the royals main conservation campaign. Led by Prince William, it brings together seven of the world’s global conservation organisations under the common purpose of creating a global movement for change. It supports on site protection, regional training courses for rangers, improving law enforcement, working with the private sector to reduce trafficking and engaging young people with conservation issues. The campaign has created a series of free, open access conservation courses which you can take online here, and you can also get involved here.