Thursday 17 April 2014

Kate shows off her baby bump as she steps out for Scouts' honours

A beaming Kate Middleton has honoured the achievements of hundreds of Scouts at Windsor Castle.

Despite being around six months pregnant, the 31-year-old is increasing her charitable workload and is now patron of seven organisations as well as being a volunteer with the Scout Association. Her growing baby bump was evident under a light green Mulberry coat.

Since Kate joined the Scouts last year, more than 2,800 adult volunteers have joined up – the second biggest rise since 1986.

Ms Middleton joined adventurer and TV star Bear Grylls and 400 youngsters and their families at the National Review of Queen's Scouts at the royal castle in Berkshire.

Grylls – who became the UK's youngest Chief Scout in 2009 aged 34 – said Kate was an "incredible role model" who helped show that Scouting was not just for boys.

Meanwhile, Scouting Ireland has put its 'be prepared' motto into action in a bid to safeguard its funding.

With annual funding to the volunteer-led body slashed by almost one-quarter over the past three years, the Scouts have called on the Government not to halt cuts.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watches a march past of several hundred scouts attends the National Review of Queen's Scouts at Windsor Castle on April 21, 2013 in Windsor, England.  (Photo by Ben Gurr - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate is currently seven months pregnant, with her baby due in July

Scouting Ireland chief John Lawlor told delegates at the organisation's annual national conference in Sligo that a further decrease in government funding was anticipated.

"Scouting Ireland receives almost €846,000 from the Government annually. Any further cuts would be an attack on volunteerism and the positive development of our youth," he said.

Delegates at the conference voted in favour of a motion to call upon the Justice Minister to enact legislation to force internet service providers operating in Ireland to block access to all child abuse material, as is the case in the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Italy.

Senator Jillian van Turnhout told the conference that a child abuse image was a crime scene – a digital record of sexual abuse.

"This is not about censorship or restricting internet freedom, it is about protecting real children from real abuse," she said.

Irish Independent

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