A children’s mental health charity supported by the Duchess of Cambridge is set to close due to lack of funding.
The Art Room is a group program that uses art-making and discussion to support pupils with emotional difficulties.
The Duchess became of a patron of the organisation, based in Oxford in 2012.Embed from Getty Images
Since then the program has expanded to cover eight schools in Oxfordshire, London, and Edinburgh.
Parent charity, Place2Be has announced the program will cease to operate at the end of March due to financial pressures and shrinking school budgets.
In a statement on the charity website, they said that in its current format ‘the service has limited accessibility and is not financially sustainable.’
They also said they were working with school staff to identify alternative support for children who previously accessed their services.Embed from Getty Images
The Art Room worked with groups of up to eight pupils between five and 16 who had experienced behavioural and emotional problems.
Through group discussions, stories, art-making and reflection time, the youths were “encouraged to explore their feelings, express themselves and grow in confidence”.
The patronage was a natural fit for the Duchess who completed a degree at the University of St Andrews in Scotland majoring in Art History.
It combined her passion for combating the stigma around mental health with her love of children and art.Embed from Getty Images
She was named as a patron to the charity on 5 January 2012.
A month later she visited two schools in Oxford, the Rose Hill Primary School and the Oxford Spires Academy which were associated with the program.
In April 2013, the Duchess hosted a reception for The Art Room at the National Portrait Gallery, another organisation she is a patron of.
During her speech on the night, she spoke of her “immense pride” in being associated with the valuable program.Embed from Getty Images
“As patron of The Art Room, I feel immense pride to see the amazing work that they are doing but I also feel hugely excited to look to a future with more Art Rooms, where many more challenging and vulnerable children will be helped,” she said.
Place2Be said it was developing a “more accessible and financially-viable model” of the program in the form of a mobile service.