Kate Middleton and Prince William meet therapy puppy at Lancashire hospital

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for their second joint outing in a row, as they visited Clitheroe Community Hospital in Lancashire on Thursday. And the royal couple met an adorable new addition to the team!

Prince William and Kate were at the hospital to learn about the challenges faced by rural health providers in the face of the pandemic and to understand how NHS Charities Together is supporting the mental health of the frontline workforce. The Duke and Duchess became joint patrons of NHS Charities Together in December 2020.

The Cambridges met with GPs, nurses and others who work across the community, both to understand their experiences and to congratulate them on continuing to deliver a high standard of care for elderly and sick patients, within the hospital and in the rural community, despite services being the busiest on record. 

WATCH: Kate Middleton and Prince William meet therapy puppy at Lancashire hospital

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Across East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, over £300,000 of funding allocated by the charity has helped establish wellbeing services that support over 9,000 staff, including break-out spaces, wellness packages, and therapies. 

At Clitheroe, this funding will provide a staff wellbeing room, among other services.

William and Kate met the latest addition to the team, Alfie – an apricot cockapoo puppy, who will be trained as a therapy dog to support patients and colleagues at the hospital. 

Kate described the pup as “so sweet” but, after enjoying a cuddle, added: “Our dog is going to be very upset.”

RELATED: Kate Middleton looks gorgeous in fitted knitwear and heeled boots

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The Cambridges are known to be dog lovers and previously owned an English Cocker Spaniel named Lupo. The sweet dog sadly died in November 2020, with William and Kate announcing the news on social media. 

In 2020, Kate’s brother James Middleton gifted the family another spaniel, an eight-month-old pup, whose name is yet to be revealed. 

MORE: 8 times Kate Middleton and Prince William were totally in sync

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How adorable is little Alfie? It looked like the Duchess didn’t want to let him go! 

The couple later shared a hilarious tweet asking their followers who the pup preferred. 

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The Cambridges donned face coverings as they spoke to staff at Clitheroe Community Hospital. 

William told staff: “We’re so grateful for all your hard work. I’m not sure there are enough words to say how grateful everyone is for what you have done.”

He said he had a particular affinity with staff because of his time as an air ambulance pilot.

Lisa Kay, intensive home support service clinical lead, said: “That was great to hear because it’s not every day you get a royal visit to say thank you. It has been a huge morale boost.”

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Kate looked as chic as ever in a delightful tonal outfit. Dressing to perfection, she chose to recycle her limited edition cashmere wool camel coat from Massimo Dutti, which she layered over an elegant camel-coloured roll neck.

The Duchess teamed her stylish outerwear with a merino wool-blend turtleneck sweater from Iris and Ink and coordinated skirt, sporting a pair of glamorous suede heeled boots for the January chill.

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Following their visit to the hospital, the Duke and Duchess travelled to Church on the Street, run by Pastor Mick Fleming. 

Mick is a former drug dealer who set up Church on the Street in 2019 to help the homeless and people  living in some form of poverty in Burnley and surrounding area.

Since then, the project has grown and the Church now offers refuge and a safe space for anyone in the community that may be struggling, including those having difficulty with their mental health.  

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Occupying a former gym, Church on the Street provides a food bank, a clothing bank, hot showers, laundry facilities, a café, recovery groups, addiction and mental health support, access to a qualified counsellor, and a safe space for up to two hundred people at any one time. There are church services held on Sundays, lead by Pastor Mick with help from a number of volunteers and staff. 

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