A shielding Bromley paramedic received a call from The Duchess of Cambridge as she volunteered for an NHS ‘check in and chat’ service for people isolating in the pandemic.

Donna Williams, 42, is caring for her young daughter Alessandra, whose rare form of Type 1 diabetes makes her vulnerable to coronavirus, along with her 11-year-old son, Austin.

Usually Donna and her husband Matthew take it in turns to sleep with Alessandra every night as she is in danger of falling into a diabetic coma with no prior warning, but as Matthew is also a paramedic and still on the front-line, he's currently having to stay in a hotel.

Donna said of the phone call: "The Duchess is really kind and down to earth and within seconds I felt like I was talking to a friend of a friend, and I really felt like I was genuinely being listened to.

“It was a really special experience for both my children, and it gave us a much-needed boost. In these times, we are all just getting on with it but stopping and talking about it was actually quite emotional.

“We also talked about how the change of routine has been really hard on my eight year old, Alessandra - she's a keen gymnast and before lockdown this had been good to maintain her blood sugars but with this stopping it's been really hard.

“The Duchess asked whether Alessandra could help Charlotte with her handstands and cartwheels - it really cheered her up!"

Members of the Royal Family have joined the ranks of NHS Volunteer Responders for ‘check in and chat’ calls.

Over the past few weeks, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Countess of Wessex and The Duchess of Gloucester have been making calls to people self-isolating in the community as part of the 250,000 tasks completed to date.

To aid people isolating during the pandemic, volunteers also provide grocery and prescription deliveries and lifts to medical appointments.