Another really interesting engagement for The Duchess of Cambridge – A virtual tour. Last week on Thursday, The Duchess of Cambridge virtually visited Clouds House, an addiction treatment centre of her patronage Action on Addiction in Wiltshire, to see how they have continued their lifesaving work throughout the lockdown period.
On the video call, Action on Addiction’s CEO Graham Beech gave The Duchess a virtual tour of Clouds House and spoke about the importance of reaching out for help during the pandemic. The Duchess met with the staff, spoke with current clients and those accessing the online Clouds aftercare service to see how they have been doing throughout the lockdown period.
At the beginning of the video, Duchess said,
“Thank You! Nice to see you again, I’ve just looking at it’s been a while since I last visited. So definitely when things get back to normal I would love to come in and say Hello to the team and everyone down there as well“.
According to a poll titled ‘National Poll on Addiction Behaviours in Lockdown’ carried out by the charity Action on Addiction and YouGov, every 1 out of 4 UK adults is consuming more alcohol as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The poll was conducted on 2,000 Brits to examine changes to lifestyles under the Covid-19 outbreak. Nearly one in four with a history of addiction has reported a recurrence of their addictive behaviour or have recently relapsed while in recovery. The shocking statistics also show an increase in addictive behaviour from children as young as 12. From Mirror’s report,
One in four said they are drinking since lockdown started – resulting in nearly 12.5million people across the country. From the sample, 15% of those adults – or up to 1.9million people – said as a result of drinking more they are experiencing problems such as relationship difficulties, managing work, sleeping problems or added debt. The findings also suggest 4% have increased the amount of online gambling they are doing – amounting to two million people throughout the country.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who is the patron of the charity since 2012, visited the house from her country residence Anmer Hall in Norfolk. During the tour, Catherine talked to the staff about how they have adapted the change in their services due to the Coronavirus. How they have been helping people online as people need more support during the lockdown. She talked to the former Clouds House residents Claire and Chris who are currently in the centre’s aftercare programme. Catherine said,
“The worrying thing is, it is all those people who aren’t necessarily reaching out who are struggling, who perhaps don’t feel they can reach out. Or the fact that maybe they haven’t realised that addictive behaviours have sort of established, particularly if it’s the first time – and it’s those people who aren’t necessarily being vocal about it, it’s making sure that they know they can reach out and that you are there to help and support them in this very difficult time.”
Clouds House provides relapse prevention training, connectivity with 12 Step fellowship groups and other forms of mutual aid as well as an aftercare service. The Care Quality Commission rates Clouds House ‘good’ overall and ‘good’ in all five inspection domains: well-led, safe, caring, responsive, and effective. Duchess visited the Clouds House first time in 2012. Continuing from Mirror,
During her virtual visit last week Kate spoke to CEO Graham Beech, clinical lead Dr Simone Yule and treatment manager Anya Sparks, Kate, 38, asked what challenges they had been forced to overcome during the pandemic.
Dr Yule said: “We are seeing more alcohol issues and in the community. I think definitely we know alcohol sales have gone up exponentially, so the rise in people that are now starting to seek treatment with lockdown gradually lifting, I think that is going to have a big impact.”
Mr Beech added: “We are getting enquiries and phone calls from people who are not sure where to go and are not sure that treatment is available. We have discovered that people are struggling during lockdown.
More people are drinking and gambling but also we are concerned about the number of people who are struggling to maintain their recovery and are getting into relapse. We are particularly concerned about families and young people and the impact that lockdown and addiction is having.”
Catherine spoke to Lucy, whose mother had previously been a resident at Clouds. From Hello!’s report,
Lucy said: “We went to visit her a lot when she was in Clouds, it was such a lovely and special place, we met so many fantastic people. We felt really well supported as a family member and since she has come out of there, we have continued in a family counselling session, my brother, mother and I which we do in London. We do it every few months or whenever mum feels she needs it, or whenever we feel we need it and it’s been game-changing for our family – really beneficial to be in a room and talk so openly as we have done.”
Praising the work of both Clouds and her patronage, the Duchess said: “I think the holistic approach that Clouds has is extraordinary and Action on Addiction in general, because to be in the family members, for someone who is suffering to take that one individual and ask them to go through it themselves is a real challenge. But if you can pull in family members or those around them to try and help them through it is really extraordinary and actually I’ve heard in the past everyone learns a huge amount from it as well, so it’s really fantastic.”
Encouraging the staff and the residents and praising the workings of the centre Catherine said, “It’s a lifeline for many people and you know and it’s great that they are able to continue the support, whether remotely or those who are actually still receiving treatment now during the lockdown and providing life-changing support’.
The Duchess of Cambridge was looking gorgeous in red. Catherine wore a red shirt or shirt dress with black collar inline detail. The outfit is still unidentified. I will update the post once we have some information on it.
Update: The Duchess of Cambridge debuted Hobbs London Loreley Dress. Thanks to Susan from WhatKateWore for sharing this info from her longtime friend Stephanie Champion-Helton, aka Lady Coventry on Twitter, and eBay UK Seller noonandchas. The £375 belted shirt dress was from label’s Spring/Summer Collection. The shirt dress with classic collar features hidden front placket with contrast buttons, contrasting trim on the inner collar, a yoked back, front bodice pockets. The orange-red hue was described as ‘Deep Jasper’.
It looks like the Duchess paired the outfit with the hoops of her Daniella Draper mini cupid shamrock hoops.
When the COVID19 pandemic put an unpredicted halt to the world, I was wondering how Royal Family will be adapting the change and still make sure its presence is noticed among the masses. I have to applaud that the members of the British Royal Family have adapted this change so gracefully and shown us a very intimate and fun side of the otherwise traditional House of Windsor. Whether it’s Prince Charles sharing his favourite recipe or talking about his Garden or Duchess of Cornwall’s book list or William and Catherine playing bingo with residents or Sophie stepping out to volunteer; every engagement was fun, bringing attention to the various causes while thanking and admiring the frontline worker who put their lives on risk for the whole nation.
The family did not let the pandemic make them hidden or unapproachable. Many of us believe that we actually like the lockdown engagements of Catherine more as we got opportunities to hear more directly from her and were able to make a more personal connection with her. As the lockdown is being eased slowly, we might see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertaking few physical engagements once in a while. But I am not holding my breath as I am loving these virtual engagements equally.