Today, The Duchess of Cambridge officially named The Clore Art Room, at Barlby Primary school in London.
Patron of The Art Room, a charity that provides art therapy for underprivileged children, The Duchess had to reschedule the event from last year, when she was suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. While the centre had been open since last autumn, the room had yet to be named.
The Duchess was applauded as she entered the school’s hall, and listened to a rendition of ‘Lean on Me’ from the students. Catherine visited the school with another of the charity’s patrons, Grayson Perry, a Tuner prize-winning artist.
85 children aged 5-11 will receive art sessions in The Clore Art Room each week, with the aim of inspiring self-confidence and self-esteem, whilst encouraging independence through art therapy. It will hopefully be expanded to those up to 16 years of age in 12 months time.
The Duchess was presented with a wooden chair, decorated with a stamp collage, by two students. Kate and Perry then took part in a round table discussion with Dame Vivien Duffield, who is chair of the Clore Duffield Foundation, talking about the work of The Art Room.
Catherine then spoke with some of the children, and asked about their activities at the art room, and how it has helped them, with children showing Kate the work they had done (see below).
The room is named after the Clore Duffield Foundation, which has been making donations to The Art Room since 2005. The Foundation will cover the running costs for the studio for the next three years; this was part of a scheme giving grants to organisations across the UK, to celebrate the Foundation’s 50th birthday.
Many different children will have access to the art room, including those who have suffered abuse or violence, breakdowns of families or bereavements. Those with forms of autism can also be referred to such centres, as well as children recently arrived in the UK, to take time out of mainstream school and tackle problems through art therapy.
One child said of the art room to the Daily Mail: “It’s like having thinking space. Painting makes me feel good and I feel in a better mood afterwards.”
The Duchess left the school to cheers, and was handed flowers by children waiting.
Pictures: Victoria Murphy/Daily Mirror