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The Duke of Cambridge presents the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards 


The Duke of Cambridge will presents the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Awards during a ceremony at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The Duke presented the Awards to organisations from across the UK who have supported members of the Armed Forces and their families through offering training, work placements and employment. The Duke will then meet some of the individuals who have been supported.

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. The Scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community. This includes the Reserves, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, Cadets, military spouses or partners and their families.

To date 25 organisations have been given the ERS Gold Award, and a further 22 will receive the award at this event.


The Duke of Cambridge visits a ‘ Step into Health’ military employment programme


The Duke of Cambridge will visit a ‘Step into Health’ military employment programme as part of a day focusing on veteran employment at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital 

The Duke of Cambridge will spent 12th October focusing on work to provide employment opportunities for military veterans. Ahead of His Royal Highness’s previously announced attendance at the MoD Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards, The Duke will visit a Step into Health programme at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. His Royal Highness will gain further insight into the programme and meet some of its current participants and graduates.

Step into Health is an initiative created by the NHS in conjunction with The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Walking With The Wounded. The programme provides a pathway from the military into the many career opportunities in the NHS. The NHS is the largest employer in Europe with in excess of 300 different career paths available, half of which are non-clinical.

Open to all Service Leavers and Veterans and their spouse or partner, Step into Health recognises the inherent skills gained in the armed forces and supports their journey into the civilian workplace. The programme creates individual work placements of up to 4 weeks that allow participants to explore the various career opportunities available in the NHS. For example, graduates of the programme have secured roles in areas such as catering, administration, management, communications and maintenance as well as roles in one of the clinical services.

In 2014 Step into Health ran its first pilot with the Norfolk & Norwich University Trust. 78% of those veterans who completed a work placement went on to either secure

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attend an awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts 


The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception and awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts. The Queen, Patron of the Royal Academy, will present awards to five individuals who have made a national contribution as practitioners or educators in the fields of visual arts or architecture. The awardees have been nominated by five Royal Academicians, including Fashid Moussavi and Grayson Perry.

The Queen will also be presented with a small bronze replica sculpture of one of the oak trees in Windsor Great Park, which is being produced by Factum Arte to commemorate her contribution to the arts in the year of her ninetieth birthday.

During the reception, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will meet Royal Academicians, artists and supporters, as well as representatives from the Royal Academies of Dance, Dramatic Art and Music.

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Netherlands


Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge visited The Netherlands on 11th October for a day of official engagements in The Hague and Rotterdam.

On arrival, The Duchess of Cambridge was pleased to have the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands at Villa Eikenhorst.

The Duchess then visited the Mauritshuis in The Hague for the exhibition ‘At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection’. The 22 works selected for this exhibition are some of the finest 17th-century genre paintings by Dutch artists in the Royal Collection. The 22 works have been loaned from the British Royal Collection to the Mauritshuis where they will be on display from 29th September 2016 until 8th January 2017. The Duchess will tour the gallery’s permanent collection before visiting the exhibition, meeting children taking part in the gallery’s learning programme, and attending a short reception with museum supporters.

Next, The Duchess attended the British Ambassador’s Residence in The Hague, where Her Royal Highness has convened a roundtable discussion on the themes of addiction, intervention, family and mental health. The discussion brings together professionals from renowned Trimbos Institute in The Netherlands, with two UK charities of which The Duchess is Patron, Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families and Action on Addiction.

Her Royal Highness then travelled to the neighbouring city of Rotterdam to see Bouwkeet, the social Makerspace of Bospolder-Tussendijken. This is a new community focussed initiative in the centre of an economically deprived district which provides a creative design and technology workspace. Local residents can use the facilities, and ‘pay’ by sharing their skills with others, providing education, skills and positive role models within the community. The centre works with local schools to bring young people in the area into workshops, where they learn to design, create and build their own projects.

The Duke of Cambridge attends reception for 100 Women in Hedge Funds


The Duke of Cambridge, Patron, 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives, attended a reception and Gala Dinner in aid of SkillForce at Middle Temple. His Royal Highness made a short speech and networked with a selection of guests.

The Duke of Cambridge became patron of 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Philanthropic Initiatives in 2009 and, in 2012, The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined The Duke to become joint patrons.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry celebrate World Mental Health day


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will celebrate World Mental Health Day with a special Heads Together event at County Hall and The London Eye on the Southbank, London, on 10 October. This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day focuses on the importance of ‘psychological and mental health first aid for all’.

Their Royal Highnesses spoke at an upbeat reception with the charities that are a part of the Heads Together campaign. They met with people who have received help from a relative, colleague or friend in crucial moments in their lives and the person who provided that support. They are interested in learning about the kind of support that helps and what information is available for people who might find themselves in a situation where they need to help someone or to direct them to professional services. These are issues Their Royal Highnesses are exploring with the Heads Together Charity Partners for possible future projects.

Following the reception, The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry will continue the celebrations by taking a ride on the London Eye with some of the people who have been kind enough to share their mental health first aid experiences.

Later that day, the London Eye will light up in purple in support of World Mental Health Day, joining other buildings around the world that will be doing the same and connecting Heads Together with the worldwide movement to end stigma around mental health. For more information on the ‘light up purple campaign’, set up in memory of Canadian teenager Amanda Todd, visit http://lightuppurple.com/

Guests at the County Hall reception will be able to take a photo with a message thanking someone for being #Thereforme at photo booths set up by Heads Together corporate partner Dixons Carphone and The Mix, one of the eight Heads Together Charity Partners. The photos will be posted online and on the website being set up for the campaign.

Prince Harry to celebrate the expansion of Coach Core 


Prince Harry, Patron, attended an event at Lord’s Cricket Club to mark the expansion of the Coach Core sports coaching apprenticeship programme. The Prince met apprentices, coaches and some of the partners and supporters who are taking the successful programme to 100 partners across the UK by Spring 2017.

The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme was designed by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to take young people aged 16 – 24 with limited opportunities, and train them to be sports coaches and positive role models and mentors in their communities. The apprentices learn technical sport skills alongside an inclusive and holistic approach to coaching, with an emphasis on employability and mentoring skills. Coach Core is proud to have transformed the lives of its apprentices with 98% of its graduates now being in full-time employment or education, and 80% retain strong ties with their employers and continue to engage in community sport.

After successful pilots launched in London in 2012 and Glasgow in 2014, Coach Core has now expanded to work with 42 partners, with plans to reach 100 by Spring 2017. Coach Core is working closely with Non-Governmental Bodies, established sports clubs and charities to deliver the apprenticeships. This new network based focus means apprentices on the programme get an enhanced learning experience and access to a wide range of qualifications and work experience across a varied selection of sports. It also provides excellent high-profile opportunities for potential future employment.

Current partners include the Marylebone Cricket Club, Welsh Rugby Union, Glasgow Sport, West Ham United, Nottingham Forest, Essex Cricket Club. The Manchester programme will also commence in Autumn 2016, working with Manchester City FC ‘City in the Community’, Manchester United FC Foundation, Lancashire Cricket Club Foundation, Sale Sharks in the Community, Diane Modahl Sports Foundation, Sports Group, Volleyball England, Eastlands Trust, England Basketball and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Prince Harry attends the annual WellChild Awards at The Dorchester 


As Patron of WellChild, The Prince commended the courage of seriously ill children and their families, and thanked those who care for and support them. Prince Harry attended a pre-ceremony reception where he met the young winners of each award category and members of their families. He then attended the ceremony and presented the Award for Most Inspirational Child (aged 4-6) and delivered a short speech.

WellChild is the national charity for seriously ill children and their families. Across the UK, growing numbers of children remain in hospital simply because there is no support enabling them to leave. Through a nationwide network of WellChild Nurses, home makeover projects and family support programmes, WellChild is committed to giving these children the best chance to thrive – at home, together with their families. Prince Harry became Patron of WellChild in 2007 and has attended their Awards Ceremony on seven previous occasions.

The Awards celebrate the inspiring qualities of some of the country’s seriously ill young people and the dedication of those who go the extra mile to keep children healthy and happy, including the outstanding health, social care and education professionals.

For more information about WellChild please visit www.wellchild.org.uk

The Queen visits Ballater


Her Majesty The Queen visited Ballater to meet members of the local community whose homes and livelihoods were affected by flooding in the lead up to the New Year in 2016.

Around 600 homes and 100 businesses in the Aberdeenshire village of Ballater were devastated as the River Dee swept through following Storm Frank which caused widespread destruction across large parts of Scotland last winter.

The Queen’s visit to Ballater will began with a short walk along Bridge Street to see the efforts of local businesses through various stages of repair and rebuild.

Her Majesty then proceeded to the Glenmuick Church to meet residential flood victims and members of the local community who have played a crucial role in the response to the crisis, including representatives from the Police, Fire Brigade, Rotary Club, Hall Committee, the Ballater Chiels and Aberdeenshire Council.

To follow, The Queen will took a drive through the Ballater Caravan Park to view the landscape which was heavily impacted by floodwaters, alongside a section of the site that was reopened in May. The visit concluded when Her Majesty arrived at the Ballater Golf Club for a short reception to celebrate its reopening.

Throughout the visit, Her Majesty will heard about the recovery that has been achieved by the local people through fortitude and resilience in the months that followed the floods.

The village of Ballater in Aberdeenshire is close to Balmoral Castle, the private residence of The Queen in Scotland.

The Countess of Wessex cycles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace


The Countess of Wessex cycled from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, London in support of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in its 60th year. The Countess, who is a long term supporter of the DofE,  cycled the 445 miles from Edinburgh to London over seven days. The Countess undertook the ride as her ‘Diamond Challenge’ – a special initiative marking the 60th anniversary of the DofE.

She was greeted by her family, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, as she arrived at Buckingham Palace, the completion of the challenge.

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