Today, the Duchess of Cambridge visited the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre in Lambeth, South London to learn more about the work being done by local organisations in Lambeth and their partners to support young children and their families.
Catherine visited the centre to see how the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) are using the Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS) to support parents, carers and their children.
LEAP was set up, and all their work with families is funded by A Better Start, a major 10-year funding initiative from The National Lottery Community Fund, which has supported five locations across the UK, including Lambeth, to test new ways of making support services for families stronger. The visit continues The Duchess’s focus on Early Years and comes shortly after The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with frontline service providers such as health visitors involved in delivering the Better Start programme during their visit to Blackpool.
Catherine joined parents and their toddlers taking part in sessions offered by LEAP and PAIRS, called ‘Circle of Security’ and ‘Together Time’, to see different examples of what is available as part of the programme.
Circle of Security is one of two universal programmes that is offered to all parents with children of 0 to 4 years. It helps parents and caregivers better understand their child’s emotions, as well as supporting their child’s ability to successfully manage their own emotions and enhance the development of their child’s self-esteem.
Together Time supports attachment and bonding between parents and infants. The group provides time and space for parents to enjoy being with their babies or toddlers and includes singing, use of child-led play and interaction. The session is designed to support parents’ ability to understand their child’s cues, feel more confident in their parenting and strengthen their relationship with their child.
Duchess, who is a mother of three adorable kids, was incomplete Mother mode today. It was such a heartwarming to see her with toddlers giving us a glimpse of what kind of Mummy she could be at home.
Duchess had a fun time with kids that involves two twin sisters. From Rebecca’s story on Daily Mail,
Finesse, 31, who was there with twins Kamina and Kashay said Kate had been keen to find out how the centre had helped her.
Finesse, who also has a 12-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son, said: ‘I told her that I felt very isolated and how much it had supported me. It had enabled me to meet other mums and twins, which has been incredibly helpful.
‘In fact she asked me how it was having two at once and I told that it was double the trouble. In fact I feel like i have got triplets given that I have a two year old as well. They are really little divas in the making!
‘She was asking about the best thing for us as parents and told us that for her it was getting hugs from her kids.
‘She was just lovely, really down to earth. I never thought she would come down and sit with us, but she did. She just wanted to chat about what it was like to be a mum. She said that we all had our ups and downs as parents, regardless of who we are. ‘
“Swapping stories with other parents, Kate revealed her 10-month-old son Louis has started to ‘bomb around’ in his walker. ‘Louis just wants to pull himself up all the time,’ she said. ‘He has got these little walkers and is bombing around in them.
She made a beeline from Kriti, who was there with her son Kameron, nine months, immediately asking her how old he was and swapping stories about her youngest, Prince Louis, who is soon to celebrate his first birthday. Kriti said afterwards: ‘She took one look at Kameron and said ‘Oh he wants to go walkies’. Apparently her son is cruising (when a child pulls themselves up and uses furniture to move about) and she said she was running after him all the time.
She was particularly interested in discussing the issue of ‘attachment’ between parents and their children and finding ways to stress the importance of it.
‘The education around attachment I believe is fascinating,’ she said. ‘I knew very little about this. Are parents and families aware of the importance around attachment’? ‘Has it helped you now just with your children but also with your relationships with your family?’, Kate asked.”
Annamarie Hassall, a director of Practice and Progress of the National Children’s Bureau, said: ‘It is just amazing to have her here. We believe passionately that investing in the early years is the best way to spend a pound.
‘It genuinely makes a difference. But it’s one thing us knowing that and another to get the Duchess of Cambridge here to see what she has heard about in practice and how it truly engages parents and children.
‘She buys a pair of shoes and a dress and everyone is interested in what they look like. So If she says about what she is seeing about baby and children in the early years and how it can make a difference, then that is powerful. People will be interested.
‘She clearly understands the challenges of being a parent and that babies don’t come with a manual. She understands the emphasis of eye contact, touch, building a relationship with our children, as well as caring for them. This is what she was seeing today. Letting a baby lead the way, it is all the building blocks of early communication. Good, secure, emotional wellbeing goes across everything. Ms Hassall, who is a member of the steering group, said: ‘She will be a really powerful advocate if she speaks out about these issues. She can be such a strong force for what we believe. I think if we can get people on board we could really see a different society. ‘
During her visit, The Duchess met with representatives from the different organisations working to support families in Lambeth, including The National Lottery Community Fund, the National Children’s Bureau, which coordinates LEAP, and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), which has helped develop PAIRS.
For the day, choosing a completely different look, Duchess of Cambridge wore a beautiful blouse and wide-leg trouser. She was wearing Gucci Silk tie-neck blouse in lavender shade officially described as Pale Violet Orchid. Thanks to MiddletonMaven for the quick id.
The $1300 blouse is described on Nordstrom as, “A blousy bow graces the demure neckline of a decidedly feminine silk blouse designed with a row of dainty covered buttons inching down the back”.
A closer look at the detailing. It is also available in Tropical Green. It is also available on Net-a-Porter. katiesroyallove and Laura on twitter noticed the personal touch Catherine gave to the top.
I believe Duchess wore the top backwards, the buttons on the back were seen on the front side of the top and the arms seem to reversed while tie on the neck can work either way.
It looks like, Catherine wore Jigsaw High Waisted Sport Luxe Trousers in December 2018 when she and William visited Cyprus to meet the deployed military personnel.
Catherine was carrying her Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair deep shine lilac small croc Bag that we first saw in October 2018 during First Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit 2018 in London.
Catherine was wearing Links of London Hope Egg Earrings.
Another new element of today’s look was Gianvito Rossi Piper 85 suede pumps. Thanks to dataduchess2 and GabiK_blogoKate. The pumps were described as, “Gianvito Rossi lends the classic pump a dose of contemporary-cool this season, crafting the Piper silhouette with a severely pointed toe and 85mm block heel. This wardrobe essential has been made in Italy from buttery black suede with a leather insole for comfortable wear”. They are available on MyTheresa and Barney’s New York for $695.
Next, we will see Duchess tonight at the National Portrait Gallery Gala that she has attended in 2014 and 2017 too. A look at upcoming Royal engagements we have already scheduled.