The Prince of Wales has described how providing services throughout the community and talking are “crucial” in dealing with the “mental health issues that many, many people face”.

William was speaking during his first official visit, with Kate, to the seaside town of Scarborough to launch funding to support young people’s mental health.

The royal couple took time to talk to the small crowds that had greeted them at the two community centres they visited on Thursday.

Kate gingerly navigated soft ground in lofty heels to get to well-wishers at the first venue, The Street, which is a community hub supporting local organisations to grow and develop their services.

Royal visit to Scarborough
The Princess of Wales is greeted by member of the public during a visit to the Rainbow Centre (Chris Jackson/PA)

They toured the building as The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales in collaboration with Two Ridings Community Foundation announced £345,000 worth of funding they had facilitated from donors to help support young people’s mental health in Scarborough.

After the tour, William told the donors, volunteers and centre-users: “We heard a lot upstairs about mental health priorities, safe spaces, places to go for young people after schools and food, these are particularly keen issues that seem to be resonating through the community today.

“I think, particularly on the mental health side of things, tackling that stigma, talking about mental health and providing services throughout the community are crucial to how we go forwards and deal with mental health issues that many, many people face.”

The couple met with the grant panel of young people who have decided how the money should be allocated and representatives of some of the community groups that will benefit.

He thanked those involved in the collaboration between the The Royal Foundation and the Two Ridings Community Foundation, as well as all those who had donated.

William said: “Showing what can be done when a community comes together collaboratively is really something we’d like to follow on and be represented more widely across the country.

“You’re leading where I hope others will follow.”

Royal visit to Scarborough
The Prince and Princess of Wales play with modelling dough (Chris Jackson/PA)

Later, at The Rainbow Centre, William and Kate, listened the stories of people who were being helped by the open door support it provides to anyone in need in the town.

Talking to managers of the centre, he was told how the centre has seen a huge upsurge in demand for its service and how difficult it had been for many people to come forward for help.

William said he was worried about how many people were still living in isolation after the pandemic.

He told the group: “It worries me so much. Up and down the country people are still living in bubbles.

“Life has moved on for everyone else. It’s been three or four years now. The mental health consequences of that?”

Steve Cottrell, 60, told the royal visitors how The Rainbow Centre had save his life after years on the streets.

“Without this place, I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

As the couple toured the centre, they stopped to talk to nursery children who showed them their playdough creations.

Royal visit to Scarborough
The Prince and Princess of Wales arrive for a visit to The Street (Charlotte Graham/Daily Telegraph/PA)

William pretended to tuck into a yellow “sausage” presented to him by one of the youngsters.

Jan Garrill, chief executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation, said: “The fund for Scarborough is the perfect opportunity to involve young people in decisions that affect them.

“Thanks to the collaboration with The Royal Foundation and the generosity of our donors, we are delighted to announce £345,000 of funding which will continue to support the work we have seen today.

“These funds are just the start, and we hope others show the same leadership and compassion and invest in this work.

Amanda Berry, chief executive of The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales said: “Ensuring that young people have access to a wide range of mental health support is something that the Prince and Princess of Wales feel extremely passionate about.

“Tackling the stigma around mental health and ensuring that help is there for those who need it continues to be one of society’s biggest issues.

“The Royal Foundation is therefore delighted that by working with Two Ridings Community Foundation, we have played a pivotal role in galvanising funding to support the organisations doing this vital work in the community, creating a long-lasting impact for young people in Scarborough.”