This morning, Kate attended a discussion forum hosted by Place2Be. The event is titled “Resilience and Emotional Strength in Schools,” and a panel of experts held discussions in support of Place2Be’s work with children’s mental health – a cause close to the Duchess of Cambridge’s heart.
Kate became a patron of Place2Be in April 2013. Her patronage supports her desire to support young people and at-risk youth. Additionally, Kate experienced severe bullying during her preteen years, making this a cause that is very personal to her. Many will remember her visit to The Willows Primary School in support of the organization, where she gave the following speech:
Leading experts, including Professor Tanya Byron and Professor Stephen Scott, will address some of the key topics that are so pertinent building children’s emotional resilience and strength:
- Cyber bullying
- Helping parents make strong, well adjusted children
- Special educational needs today
- Raising aspirations, access and achievement
- Preventing addiction.
In July, we covered a charity spotlight on Place2Be, where we discussed the work of the organization.
“Place2Be works in primary and secondary schools across the UK to provide early intervention and mental health support to young children and their families. They have a presence in numerous schools and provide access to counseling and other services that emotionally-troubled children may need. Their focus is reaching children undergoing emotional and behavioral problems in the classroom and providing them with the support they need to improve their classroom learning. They also work closely with both the schools and the parents of the children they counsel. Place2Be says that “children are not 100% of our population but they are 100% of our future.” Their mission in reaching children is to help them in their early years before they develop lifelong conditions.”
At today’s event, Kate attended the many discussions and speeches given by accredited experts. Local school children met her at the Canary Wharf venue, undoubtedly filled with excitement. She also met with speakers, staff and volunteers. Her involvement with the event brought tremendous attention to a very worthy cause.
Kate also enjoyed a serenade from students at St. Edmund’s Primary School in Tower Hamlets. The Duchess of Cambridge was clearly charmed by the children, who sang modern R. Kelly songs, asking if they had been practicing because they sounded so lovely. Afterwards, she chatted with the speakers, asking questions and taking notes. According to a People article:
The opening speech, given by Place2Be chief executive Benita Refson, OBE, was particularly poignant. Ms. Refson stated that “for the cost of two coffees we can offer a child 15 minutes of uninterrupted time when they feel valued and understood. For me that has a more life-changing impact than my daily coffees.” It is important to remember that a small sacrifice can make a world of difference to a child in need. Another speaker said that “What we do is give hope and support to ensure that children and families have some way of dealing with difficulties. Most importantly we let children know that they are not on their own and that there is always someone there for them.”
Duchess of Cambridge in Max Mara today at Place2be in Canary Wharf pic.twitter.com/huRsyMt4Ep
— Gordon Rayner (@gordonrayner) November 20, 2013
Kate truly enjoyed her visit to the Place2Be Forum. She was clearly interested and engaged in the speakers, the children, and the volunteers at the event. Shortly before her scheduled departure time, Kate decided to stay an extra hour. Kate’s decision was a last minute whim, but was wholeheartedly supported by the organizers or the event.
Kate wore a navy pleated skirt by Orla Kiely and navy jacket by MaxMara, both older pieces – although the MaxMara coat has yet to be identified. She paired the outfit with sheer black tights for warmth on such a chilly day. Kate matched her custom Alexander McQueen blue suede pumps with her Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley “Muse” clutch and a pair navy gloves by Cornelia James. She also wore her Anoushka pearl drop earrings, which sparkled beneath her half-up hairstyle, and a gold-and-silver tone Tissot watch.
— Jeff Spicer (@snapperjeff) November 20, 2013
Overall, it was a successful event that brought attention to such a worthy cause. Kate shined as usual and showed true interest in the project.