Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in County Durham

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a series of engagements in County Durham on April 27th, visiting a family-run farm near Darlington, and a local youth project which benefitted from donations from their Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund in 2011.

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During a visit to Manor Farm, a fifth-generation family-run mixed cattle, sheep and arable farm near Darlington, the Duke and Duchess were taken on a tour of the farm, including to the cattle, calving and lambing sheds, with owners Clare Wise and Stewart Chapman. They then joined a discussion with local farmers who are supported by the National Farmers Union about their experiences of the last year, including the mental health impact of COVID-19 for farmers and the challenges of balancing home-schooling with farm work. Ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow later this year, the group also spoke about the work that is being carried out across the industry to improve environmental impact and help deliver the UK’s commitment to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions.

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The Duke and Duchess then visited the Cheesy Waffles Project, which supports children, young people and adults with additional needs aged 7 to 35 from across County Durham. The charity works to provide its members with the skills and independence they need to transition to a happy and healthy adulthood. The Cheesy Waffles Project (CWP) receives support from The Key, a youth charity which works collaboratively with organisations across the North East of England to inspire belief in young people and empower them to achieve their full potential. The Key (previously called Keyfund) was one of twenty-six charities chosen by the Duke and Duchess in 2011 to benefit from donations made to their Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund. In total over £1m was raised by the fund which was set up so that anyone wishing to give them a wedding gift could instead make a charitable donation.

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The Duke and Duchess heard about how The Key’s youth-led development programme, The Key Framework, is helping to support thousands of young people to build skills and discover their capabilities by encouraging groups of young people to plan, pitch and carry out their own project ideas. During their visit to the Cheesy Waffles Project, they also met a group taking part in a project currently going through The Key Framework, and heard how they have found the process of working to deliver a wellbeing and mindfulness project, and also heard more about the other initiatives that are delivered by the CWP to help its members develop independent skills, before joining young people taking part in a number of outdoor activities including golf-putting and natural artwork.

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