On Wednesday the Duchess of Cambridge joined children and families for an afternoon of festive fun as she just became a patron of Family Action, taking over from the Queen. This visit comes as a beginning of her new patronage after the Queen was a patron to the organization for over 65 years.
The event was at Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire, where the youngsters enjoyed Christmas activities in the “Elves Enchanted Forest”-getting their hands dirty by making decorations, eco-friendly reindeer food and hot chocolate. She helped the kids pick out Christmas trees for Family Action preschools as well as meeting with the charity’s staff and support workers.
The Queen took over the role of her grandmother Queen Mary in 1953. The cause is already pretty close to Kate’s heart. Its goal is to support families facing financial hardship, issues around mental health and emotional wellbeing, social isolation, parenting challenges, domestic abuse, and substance misuse. Having started a century and a half ago, in 1869, it works directly with vulnerable or disadvantaged children and families through local and national services and provides training and consultancy to professionals and organizations.
Kate already has made early years intervention a main point of attention in her public work, and with this charity will be able to continue with that. She has shown particular interest in the charity’s perinatal mental health services, counselling and therapeutic support and mentoring of children, young people and adults. In a statement announcing her new role, Kensington Palace said: “The Duchess of Cambridge has spent much of the last eight years meeting charities and organisations who work every day to make our families and communities stronger.
“There is a powerful correlation between a parent or carer’s wellbeing and their child’s development, which is why organisations such as Family Action that provide support are instrumental to a child’s future.
“This new patronage aligns with Her Royal Highness’ longstanding work in the early years, and the importance of supporting children and families during this seminal period of their lives.”
Back in March 2018, Kate set up a steering committee of experts to focus on supporting children from pre-birth to the age of five. The Duchess believes that by giving children the best possible start in life can help prevent many social and health problems later on.
Family Action’s chief executive David Holmes, a member of The Duchess’ Early Years steering group, said, “Everyone at Family Action would like to extend our thanks to Her Majesty for her steadfast support and encouragement to us over so many years. I have seen The Duchess’s passionate support for disadvantaged families first hand and have been impressed by her leadership in understanding and promoting the vital importance of the Early Years. Family Action looks forward to working with The Duchess in the years to come.”
In January of this year, the Duchess made a visit to Family Action in Lewisham, south London, for the launch of the national support line FamilyLine, that the organization set up. In May she visited the charity’s Family Monsters Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, accompanied by her husband Prince William.
The Family Monster Project began earlier this year, as a way of marking the charity’s 150th anniversary by encouraging families to talk to each other about everyday pressures so they can overcome them together.