On a cold and wet June evening, The Duchess of Cambridge attended Action on Addiction’s first annual gala dinner. The engagement took place at Spring Restaurant in Somerset House, central London, and was attended by celebrities such as Dougray Scott and Ronnie Wood.
The meal was hosted by the charity and chef Skye Gyngell and was held to mark Addiction Awareness week.
Action on Addiction is the only UK addiction charity that works across all areas of research, treatment, family support and professional education. Addiction Awareness week aims to provide a platform to discuss the many elements of addiction to engage with people and families affected, and to raise public awareness.
The Action on Addiction patronage is one Kate described as being “very close to my heart”, given that it is one of the first charities she chose to work with at the start of her royal life.
“What’s remarkable about @ActionAddiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes.” #AddictionAwarenessWeek pic.twitter.com/O09CAnin23
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 12, 2019
Ahead of the gala dinner, the Duchess spent time talking to former Action on Addiction clients Jay Otty and Melanie Bennett. They have been working as apprentices in the kitchen and will be working with Spring Restaurant’s head chef and owner Skye to create this evening’s meal.
As part of the evening’s events, Catherine delivered a speech where she spoke movingly of the charity she feels a close tie to: “What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes.”
Kate’s experience with Action and Addiction has helped lay the foundation for her work and understanding on mental health, and is currently helping inform her work in developing a major project around support for children in their earliest years.
It is well known that the Duchess is a firm believer in the importance of the early years of child development laying the foundation for mental health.
As she said a few weeks ago at the opening of her garden at the Chelsea Flower show, “…90% of our adult brains are developed before the age of five…..that’s why I think it’s so important [that] we really engage in quality time with our children and babies from a really young age.”
It is this belief that drives her work with Action on Addiction to promote the importance of a happy childhood and its intrinsic effect on positive mental health.