Yesterday, The Duchess of Cambridge launched a landmark survey ‘5 Big Questions’ under Fives for her dream project Early Years Intervention. Today to promote the survey, Catherine was undertaking a whirlwind tour of the country to meet parents and families.
Initially, the plan was to join parents at LEYF Nursery in Southwark, London then travels to Cardiff to attend a baby sensory class at Ely and Careau Children’s Centre and the last stop of the day was Surrey. But due to the weather conditions, her London engagement was cancelled.
The Survey gives people across the UK an opportunity to provide their view on raising the next generation. For the first part of the day, The Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Cardiff where she visited Ely and Careau Children’s Centre and attended a baby sensory class.
The centre provides support services to children and their families and helps youngsters with special needs in addition to offering adult education, parenting support and community education teams. Open access play, breakfast, after-school activities and holiday clubs are also housed in the centre, as well as health visitors, speech and language therapists and partners such as Sure Start and Language and Play.
From People’s report,
“I see amazing work you’re doing here in so many areas,” she told workers at the center. “It’s just bringing it to light. The critical work you’re doing has a massive social — and economic — impact later down the years.”
From Daily Mail’s report,
She spoke about her experience of being ‘isolated’ as a first-time mother, as she recalled living in Anglesey in North Wales when Prince George was a ‘tiny baby’ and William was a RAF Search and Rescue helicopter pilot.
While visiting the children’s centre, Kate told a group: ‘I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey it was so isolated, so cut off. I didn’t have any family around and he was doing night shifts. So…if only I had had a center like this.’
A beautiful shot of Catherine playing with kids. More from People’s Report,
Earlier, she met little River Rowson, 3, who was playing greengrocers with some pals. He was showing her some Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli. “Are you cooking too?” she asked as he offered some vegetables. “Are you going to make a stir fry?”
River clearly liked his new pal. “You’re my friend,” he told her, to which Kate replied, “You’re my friend too.
A video of the Cardiff visit.
After Cardiff, Catherine travelled to HM Prison Send in Surrey to undertake the second part of today’s engagements. The location of the visit was kept under the wrap until the visit due to the security reasons.
You might remember Catherine’s last visit to the prison in 2015 in relation to her work on Addiction. In 2015 after her visit, The Duchess had said, “I was reminded today how addictions lie at the heart of so many social issues and how substance misuse can play such destructive role in vulnerable people’s lives. I saw again today that a failure to intervene early in life to tackle mental health problems and other challenges can have profound consequences for people throughout their lives. I am grateful to the women I met for sharing their difficult personal stories with me. It is encouraging to learn how organisations like RAPt are offering specialist support to help people break the cycle of addiction and look forward to a positive and crime-free life.“
Today, The Duchess met with some of the old inmates she met in 2015 and discussed how they have since been successfully rehabilitated, released and are rebuilding their families in addition to women currently at the prison. During the visit, Catherine learned about The Forward Trust.
The Forward Trust helps people to break the often interlinked cycles of crime and addiction to move forward with their lives. Forward is one of the largest providers of intensive, abstinence-based addiction services in the UK, working across the country to empower people to break the often interlinked cycles of addiction or crime and move forward with their lives. The programme Forward delivers in HMP Send is the only intensive 12-step prison-based drug and alcohol programme for women in the UK. The Duchess of Cambridge heard about the work Trust do at the prison in supporting clients to improve their relationships with friends and family, including reconnecting with children. From The Forward Trust,
One of the women the The Duchess was reunited with was Kirsty Day, who she first met in 2015. Kirsty spent her childhood in and out of the care system. Following a series of adverse experiences, she turned to substance misuse and began a 10-year cycle of addiction and re-offending.
Kirsty said: “In my teenage years, I experienced a series of loss, hurt and abuse. From this moment on, I entered a downward spiral of addiction and prison.
“While serving my sentence, I woke up one day and realised enough was enough. I took myself to my drug and alcohol worker and asked for help. I was lucky enough to be sent to HMP Send for a fresh start.
“The programme changed my life. In some of my darkest moments since, I have never turned back to drugs.”
Five years on from the Duchess’s last visit, Kirsty has married, been promoted at The Nelson Trust and even been shortlisted as a nominee at the National Diversity Awards, recognising her work in helping women recover from addiction and trauma.
From Daily Mail’s report,
she told a group at the prison who have since been released from custody: ‘It really shocked me when I came here last time how early the challenges were that you face. How early you could take it back.’
One Send inmate described their time in prison as one of the best things that had happened to them, crediting the support of Forward Trust programmes. On hearing that, the duchess commented: ‘It’s so often I hear that, why does it have to get to that point before people receive the help and support?’
Returning to the impact early years experiences can have in people, Kate said: ‘I’m hugely passionate about trying to really help get into this crisis, trying to help provide that prevention mechanism and that support system in our communities. Particularly that support in the early years of life.’
A video of the visit.
For the day, Catherine premiered a new look.
The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a camel colour Massimo Dutti Coat. Thanks to Caroline Parr for the id. The £349 Limited Edition Button Cashmere Wool Camel Coat is described as, “Classic, sophisticated and with a flattering silhouette for the feminine figure, this camel-coloured coat made of natural fibres will be an essential piece this season. Tailored coat made of wool and cashmere. Featuring a slim fit, peak lapels, double-breasted button fastening, two flap pockets, long sleeves with four-button cuffs, a back vent and lining.” Currently, it is on sale for £149.
Underneath the coat, The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a black knitted top and Animal print Zara Skirt. Thanks to Caroline Parr for the id.
The brown coloured skirt was described as, “Flowing midi skirt with a combined faux leather waistband. Fastening on the side with an invisible zip and snap button”. The skirt was original£29.99 before going on sale for £9.99 and selling out.
Catherine paired the look with her Ralph Lauren Collection Black Suede High Heel Boot.
The Duchess finished her look with UFO Gold Fringe Earrings.
Another new element in her look was Daniella Draper Personalised Gold Midnight Moon Necklace. Thanks to MiddletonMaven on Twitter for the id. Catherine’s pendant was engraved with G, C and L – the first letter of her kids’ name. The £1070 necklace is described as, “Personalise this beautiful 9ct Gold Moon and sparkly diamond charm with your name, partners name, or simply a word that means something to you for an extra special touch. The moon is universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. The phases of the moon symbolise immortality, eternity and enlightenment.”
Next, we will see The Duchess of Cambridge on Monday, January 27th when she will attend the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony in Westminster with Prince William.