A Northern Ireland social worker has said a surprise call from the Duke of Cambridge made her day.
Eimear Hanna, who helps oversee nine children's homes in Belfast, was one of five Belfast Trust employees who spoke to Prince William.
In the video call, the group discussed the challenges of working during the Covid-19 crisis.
The duke heard children have been given giant teddy bears to hug because they have to socially distance from their carers.
He was also told of the innovative ways thought up to put vulnerable children at ease, including staff printing photos of themselves smiling and pinning them to their front, while they are wearing masks or visors.
The duke said "everyone needs a hug", as Eimear described how staff bought the bears as substitutes for the youngest in their care, and stand beside them as they cuddle the toys.
Eimear told him: "Our staff have bought huge, big teddy bears especially for the younger people who really need hugs - so if you want a hug, here you go, they hug the teddy with the staff beside them. Staff are coming up with really innovative ideas and they're absolutely working."
The duke laughed: "Everyone needs a hug, Eimear. It's very important."
"They do. They do sir," she replied. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Eimear said William - who spent over 30 minutes speaking to the group - was "extremely friendly". "It's not everyday that you say: 'Good afternoon, your Royal Highness. It was very relaxed. It was very nice and it was a great morale boost," she said.
"There were five of us on the call. He made everyone feel very much as ease. Prince William was in Kensington Palace and spoke to us in a very relaxing manner. The questions he asked were relevant and pertinent, also in respect of some challenges facing children and young people in my service area in particular. So he was very friendly and it was a very enjoyable experience - albeit extremely nerve-racking!"
The north Belfast woman (46), has worked in residential childcare in the voluntary sector for 20 years. In the call, earlier this month, William told the five health professionals: "It must be very difficult not being able to provide that human touch, that kind of face-to-face care. It's very difficult when you're behind a mask and goggles and aprons."
The duke raised concerns about the effects of the pandemic on children's mental health.
"I'm particularly worried as to how the young people are going to cope long term, because we're all muddling through this period at the moment and helping each other," he said. "But the long-term implications of school being missed, anxiety levels, family members sadly dying and the sort of general economic outlook... Do you think that's going to play heavily on your services and what they'll need?"
Consultant psychiatrist Frances Doherty, who runs Beechcroft Regional Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Inpatient Service, said some referral rates had dipped, but she expected them to rise.
"I would imagine that as we're starting to come out of lockdown and people are starting to get back into the world again, starting to realise just what we've been through, I think that we will start to see our referral rate increase and the impact on services," she said. "What I think has been really helpful is a lot of work has been done to think about how young people can care for themselves, how parents can care for them, to help them to survive and to thrive even through the pandemic. But I think it will be on the other side of it we'll really have all the challenges that you mentioned."
William, father to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, acknowledged the difficulties in getting children to socially distance.
Child psychiatrist Dr Clare McKenna told him: "The children I work with don't understand social distancing."
William prompted laughter by replying: "That's all children isn't it? I don't think any children understand social distancing."