Ambulance leaders welcome TASC grant as Royal Foundation announces £1.8 million COVID-19 Response Fund

The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million in supporting the frontline community and the nation’s mental health, through a bespoke fund which was set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19.

The grants – made to ten leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support – build on the work that the Foundation has already done in recent months to support those on the frontline of the pandemic in the UK, and the mental health sector.

As a result of The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and in partnership with NHS England, individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK will be available for all frontline workers.

In addition, over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support, training and mental health resources from Mind’s Blue Light mental health support programme, building on the support that is already available from other sources, including employers and Our Frontline.

To support the nation’s mental health during this time, but also in the months and years ahead, grants have been given to mental health charities to increase their capacity for helpline and chat services to meet rising demand.

Diane Scott, Chair of The Ambulance Staff Charity, said:

The grant from The Royal Foundation will make a vast difference to the level of support we are able to provide to the ambulance community to help them cope with the impacts of COVID-19.

The job they do can be stressful even in normal times and for TASC to be able to offer additional support to help cope with the increased pressures as a result of COVID-19 is fantastic news and we are so grateful to The Royal Foundation for their support.

Together, the grants made through the COVID-19 Response Fund ensure that:

  • All emergency responders will have access to individual grief trauma counselling from Hospice UK
  • Over 250,000 emergency responders will have access to peer-to-peer support through Mind’s Blue Light programme
  • The Ambulance Staff Charity will be able to provide an additional 2,780 hours of support for the UK’s ambulance community
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) will be able to respond to 2,300 more contacts each month
  • Shout 85258 will be able to have 250 more text message conversations with people who are struggling to cope every day
  • The Mix will expand their group chat service for young people to seven days per week
  • Teachers, children and their parents will be supported to cope with mental health needs including self-care and managing anxiety as schools re-open, thanks to training and resources
    from Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre
  • An additional 20,000 new mothers will be supported by Best Beginnings, thanks to a community mental health training project to reach pregnant women and new parents.