YoungMinds Activists Meet the Royals at Launch of Heads Together

Three of our YoungMinds Activists had the exciting opportunity to meet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to film the launch video for Heads Together, a new campaign to end stigma around mental health.

YoungMinds is thrilled to be part of the Royal Foundation Heads Together campaign, along with seven other charities with specialist experience of improving mental health.

You’ve watched the film we made. Now here’s our behind-the-scenes peek at what we got up to with the royals.

Getting Ready at the Palace

Activist Sarah Hulyer, 20

“It was a sunny Thursday afternoon when Tamanna, Jessica and I met YoungMinds staff outside High Street Kensington.

Due to confidentiality requirements we hadn’t yet been told much about what the day would involve, apart from the fact that it was related to the launch of a national campaign.

But as we went through security and entered the gardens of Kensington Palace, we started to suspect that this might be something to do with the royals!

When we arrived in the gardens of the palace the seven partner charities working with the Royal Foundation were split into three different groups.

YoungMinds, Combat and Help the Heroes were grouped together. Then Prince Harry’s representative came out to talk with us before the royals themselves arrived…”

Meeting the Royals

Activist Tamanna Miah, 22

“I felt slightly shy and surprised at meeting Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at first – which isn’t usually like me! However they were all so friendly and down-to-earth that we soon ended up joking around.

It was Prince Harry who spent the longest time with our group. We had a laugh when he asked whether I was running the marathon this year – I told him I can't run marathons, I can just about run for the train! With his own career in the forces, Harry was especially knowledgeable about mental health among war veterans which was very interesting.

It was nice to hear first-hand on the day how keen they all are to raise awareness of mental health, and it was really great to see YoungMinds coming together with so many other likeminded charities and the royals to launch such an important campaign.”

Making the Film

Activist Jessica People, 18

“After meeting the royals, we were arranged into a line alongside representatives from all the other charities.

We could spot huge film cameras all around the gardens as the crew prepared for the filming - it was especially exciting for me, as I’m currently studying for a Media and Film BTEC.

Each charity had brought along one of their 2017 marathon runners, and the seven of them were filmed jogging around the outside of Kensington Palace Gardens.

Our job, as we played the part of the cheering marathon crowd, was to cheer the runners on, giving them hi-fives as they came in at the finishing line. At the same time Prince Harry was kidding around with us all – at one point he tried to distract us by stealing an orange off the table!

In the end did 5 rounds of cheering to get the perfect shot.

This was the first event at which I’d represented YoungMinds as an Activist and Media Champion, and it was amazing.

It’s the best experience I’ve ever had.”

What’s Next?

More information about Heads Together and how to apply for charity places in the London Marathon 2017 can be found on the campaign website:

Full details of the Heads Together campaign will be released at a launch event on 16 May, and will include engagements and events around the UK and new initiatives to support families, teachers, and friends to help those people in their lives who have mental health challenges.

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