William and Kate encourage UK to help the lonely with small acts of kindness

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have encouraged Britons to “lift someone out of loneliness” with small acts of kindness, in a radio broadcast recorded specially for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Prince William and Kate Middleton reached an estimated 20 million listeners in the 60-second message broadcast on more than 500 stations across the country for this year’s Mental Health Minute.

The couple apologised for interrupting the broadcasting schedules of UK radio stations, all of which played the message simultaneously at 10.59am on Friday.

“If you think someone you know might be feeling lonely, just give them a ring, send them a text or knock on the door,” said Kate.

Prince William added “Maybe suggest meeting for a coffee or a walk”, as Kate continued: “Because these small acts of kindness can make a big difference and help us all feel less lonely.”

The Duke said that the past two years of the pandemic have reminded people of the importance of human relationships.

“If we interrupt the lives of those who are feeling alone...” Kate began, “We can help lift them out of loneliness,” Prince William continued.

He added, “We're all in different places right now”, with the Duchess saying “Not just physically but mentally”.

“And we can all feel lonely sometimes”, he continued, with Kate commenting: “No matter who - or where - we are.”

The royal couple have been involved in the Mental Health Minute for five years, but this is the first time they have been the sole speakers.

Previous participants have included Lady Gaga and Dame Judi Dench.

In a picture shared to their Twitter page, the Duke and Duchess were shown sitting on a sofa as they recorded their message.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) collected data on loneliness during the pandemic, estimating that 7.2 per cent of UK adults felt lonely “often” or “always” between October 2020 and February 2021.

This represented an increase of 1.1 million people since data was collected in May 2020.

The TV personality Scarlett Moffatt recently admitted she had called the Samaritans during the pandemic after experiencing loneliness.

The Gogglebox and I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! star, who is now an ambassador for the suicide prevention charity, is aiming to raise awareness that there “is no shame in feeling alone”.

“Sometimes it can feel like there is a negative stigma around admitting that you’re lonely, but it’s something that most people will have experienced at one point in their life,” she said.

“In the world of social media, it’s not always clear to see when people are feeling sad or lonely.”

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