Thousands gathered at The Joff Youth Centre, in Peaceaven, today in anticipation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving to discuss the issue of mental health with young people from youth forums across East Sussex during their first joint official visit to the county.

At the youth centre the royal couple met 50 young people gathered from youth groups around the county, including the elected Youth Cabinet. The young people present were preparing for this year’s Takeover Challenge Day – a national initiative from the office of the Children’s Commissioner which encourages organisations to give young people a role in real-life decision making. The theme in East Sussex this year is mental health and emotional wellbeing, with a focus on ways young people can help each other and themselves.

We spoke to Libby Russell, 16 from Hailsham and Indya Wardle, 15 from Eastbourne, both East Sussex members of the UK Youth Parliament.

Libby said: “We have been so excited about the Duke and Duchess coming to visit. It’s been great to discuss the work that we have been doing here and to introduce them to a number of youth groups from across East Sussex and talk to them about how mental health affects those young people.”

Indya said: “Mental health in young people is in decline and it is really important that there is enough funding, support and education for young people so that they can live happy lives. Today has been about engaging young people in mental health and for them to actively take part in raising awareness, the Duke and Duchess got really involved with the activities and discussions. It is really important that everything that comes out of today has come from young people, for young people”