The Duchess of Cambridge today met Team Heads Together runners at Kensington Palace taking part in a final training session for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and joined them in placing a Heads Together headband on a Royal Mail post box.
Around 70 post boxes on the London Marathon route will wear Heads Together headbands, to match the headbands being provided to all 39,000 runners, which they can wear on race day no matter the cause they are running for. This morning Prince Harry handed out headbands to some of the runners as they collected their race numbers at the opening day of the London Marathon Expo.
As Charity of the Year for this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 23 April, Heads Together wants to make it the ‘mental health marathon’ to get the country talking about mental health. Heads Together also announced today that a number of buildings and landmarks will get behind the campaign by donning headbands including Battersea Power Station, the Thames Water Tower on the Shepherd’s Bush roundabout and wax figures at Madame Tussauds London, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jonny Wilkson and Will.i.am.
St Paul’s Choristers put headbands on to support the campaign, the former Olympic Stadium will wear a digital headband up to race day and a London Duck Tours vessel will don a headband in support of the campaign. On Friday evening the South Bank will light up blue, with the National Theatre and the Coca-Cola London Eye matching the colour of the headbands. Over the weekend, in support of the mental health marathon, the windows of the Virgin Money Haymarket Lounge and Planet Hollywood in Piccadilly will be dressed in a giant headband strip.
Later this week Heads Together will announce how everyone can join the campaign by wearing a headband online. Anytime Twitter users share the #TeamHeadsTogether #HeadsTogether and #oktosay hashtags, a special Heads Together headband emoji will appear.
Her Royal Highnesses met a small group of Heads Together runners who came together for a final training session at Kensington Palace and thanked them for helping change the conversation on mental health with Heads Together – the campaign she spearhead with The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The campaign, in partnership with eight leading mental health charities, aims to end stigma, raise awareness and provide vital help for people with mental health problems.
The Duchess of Cambridge today dressed the Kensington Palace post box with a Heads Together headband alongside Royal Mail CEO Moya Greene, who commented on Royal Mail’s support for the Heads Together campaign, saying:
“As a large employer, we recognise that we have a big role to play in tackling the stigma surrounding mental health. Although we have made some positive steps, there is still a long way to go. Like Sunday’s race, this is a marathon. We need to build on the good work we have done so far, and that means helping to address this issue within the local communities that we serve every single day. I’m proud that we are using our iconic postboxes to support Heads Together and this important campaign.”
The London landmarks supporting Heads Together and helping to make this year’s London Marathon the first ever ‘mental health marathon’, include:
- The Coca-Cola London Eye and the National Theatre – The two iconic South Bank landmarks will be lighting up in Heads Together blue on Friday 21st April to support Heads Together. The Coca-Cola London Eye will light up blue on Saturday 22nd April too.
- St Paul’s Cathedral – In images exclusively released today, St Paul’s choristers are wearing the Heads Together headbands
- Battersea Power Station – In addition to wrapping one of its iconic chimneys in a Heads Together headband, eight of Battersea Power Station’s employees – who are themselves mental health ambassadors – are wearing the headbands in support of this important cause. Battersea Power Station CEO, Rob Tincknell commented: “On behalf of our shareholders, we are delighted to be supporting the Heads Together campaign with one of our newly rebuilt chimneys at Battersea Power Station sporting a blue headband in the lead up to this year’s London Marathon. Mental health is a really important issue which is finally getting the attention it deserves and we wish all those running this Sunday the best of luck.”
- Thames Water Tower – The award winning tower – on one of London’s busiest roundabouts – will be sporting a custom-made headband from Friday 21stApril until Marathon Sunday. Karl Simons, Head of Health, Safety, Security and Wellbeing at Thames Water Utilities commented: “Thames Water continues to promote a working environment that empowers our people to take time to talk and support each other in times of need, so together we tackle and remove any stigma regarding mental health.”
- London Stadium – Will be wrapped in a digital headband in the run up to Marathon Day
- London Duck Tours – One of its vessels will later this week wear a Heads Together headband and take some of the campaign’s volunteers and supporters on a road and river tour of London
- Madame Tussauds London – Some of their most famous wax figures – including The Duke and Duchess, Prince Harry, Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Johnny Wilkinson and Mo Farah – will be wearing the Heads Together headbands on Marathon Day
- Virgin Money Haymarket and Planet Hollywood – over marathon weekend, Haymarket will see the windows of the Virgin Money lounge and Planet Hollywood dressed in a Heads Together headband strip
You can access b-roll footage from today here which includes Prince Harry registering runners whilst opening the Virgin Money London Marathon, footage of the famous wax figures with Heads Together headbands on at Madame Tussauds and St Pauls Cathedral Choristers wearing headbands
We will be adding to this folder with more footage later today, including The Duchess of Cambridge dressing the Kensington Palace post box with a Heads Together headband alongside Royal Mail.
You can access images of the Duchess of Cambridge with Team Heads Together runners and the London landmarks wearing the Heads Together headband using these links –High res If prompted, password: headstogether01) Low res If prompted, password: headstogether01)
Heads Together also announced everyone will be able to support the mental health marathon on social media, via some custom innovations across Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat:
- Twitter have created a custom emoji of a smiley face wearing a Heads Together headband, which appears automatically when you use the hashtags #HeadsTogether #TeamHeadsTogether and #oktosay on the social media platform
- Snapchat will be unveiling a newfilter tomorrow which superimposes a virtual headband in the run up to race day
- Facebook will be allowing users to show their support for Heads Together by adding a Headband filter to their profile pictures
About Heads Together
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that fear no longer prevents people talking or getting the help they need. Heads Together brings together a team of Charity Partners that have achieved great progress in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems. The team covers a wide range of mental health issues that are close to The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry’s passions. They are: Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families; Best Beginnings; CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably; Contact (a military mental health coalition); Mind; Place2Be; The Mix; and YoungMinds. The privilege of being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year gives Heads Together a positive platform to raise funds for the support provided by the campaign’s charity partners and to start millions of conversations.
The Heads Together campaign is being generously supported by The Julia & Hans Rausing Trust, ShareGift and the first three Heads Together Founding Partners – Dixons Carphone, Unilever UK and Virgin Money. This support will help amplify the aims of the campaign as well as fund specific projects designed to help us all with mental health.