The Duchess of Cambridge attended the first annual gala dinner in support of Addiction Awareness Week last night.
Addiction Awareness Week “aims to provide a platform to discuss the many elements of addiction, to engage with people and families affected, and to raise public awareness,” per Kensington Palace, and Kate attended the gala dinner in her role as Patron of Action on Addiction, a position she has held since 2012.
“Action on Addiction was one of my very first patronages, and as such, it is very close to my heart,” the Duchess of Cambridge said in a speech to mark the occasion.
“I’m hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents, children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction.
“And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development, too.”
“For the last few years, I’ve been focussing on the importance of prevention: how can we all really support the earliest years of life, build foundations, and help avoid adversity later on in life.
“Having met so many people who’ve suffered from addiction, I have seen over and over again that, sadly, the root cause can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life.”
Prior to the dinner, Kate met with former Action on Addiction clients, Jay Otty and Melanie Bennett, who helped cater the meal. The menu consisted of a starter salad, River Test trout, and lemon cake with elderflower cream and gooseberries.
Her Royal Highness was overheard talking to Otty and Bennett, telling them that it must be “so rewarding” to work with Action on Addiction and help others in their recovery.
“What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery,” the Duchess said. “It also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction, for as long as it takes.
“This evening’s dinner not only marks Addiction Awareness Week, but it also provides an opportunity for us all to remember the vital work being done to help all those affected by addiction feel able to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction.”
Kate’s work with Action on Addiction has “helped lay the groundwork for her work and understanding on mental health, and is currently helping inform her work in developing a major project around support for children in their earliest years,” Kensington Palace said.