The students at Northolt High School in Ealing have a very special visit to look forward to this Valentine’s Day from the Duchess of Cambridge. The Duchess will be officially opening their new IPAC Art Room.
The Art Room is a national charity that offers art as therapy to young children who are facing challenges in life. Through art, the organisation aims to help students increase their self-confidence and self-esteem. With existing studios in Oxford and London, the ICAP Art Room in Northolt High School will be the seventh Art Room to be opened, chosen due to its diverse and vibrant learning community.
The Duchess of Cambridge is the Royal Patron of The Art Room, and has held this position since January 2012. She chose the charity because of her interest in the arts (having studied History of Art at university), as well as her wishes to attempt to enrich the lives of young people through creative art.
As a part of her visit, Kate will meet with staff and pupils before experiencing a short session in the Art Room for herself. In the course of the visit she will learn how the school and charity work together. The new studio is set to serve up to 60 students per week, both from Northolt High and nearby schools in the Ealing borough.
In many ways, the Duchess has been following in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law, with whom she shares a mutual love for children and understands the importance children’s charities. Before her tragic death, Princess Diana too was the patron of a number of charities working towards providing young children with care and support, including Centrepoint, the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children and Barnado’s, the latter two of which she was president.
Kate is also a patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). Just recently, she paid a visit to the Shooting Star children’s hospice where she enthusiastically sang songs, participated in a storytelling session and played with a frog hand-puppet, much to the amusement and joy of the children.
This will be the Duchess’s second Valentine’s Day away from Prince William since getting married. In 2012, she marked the day with a solo engagement in Liverpool.