Overwhelming support for Centre of Excellence at Royal Gala
Service users and supporters of the Centre came together with our patron HRH the Duchess of Cambridge yesterday evening at Kensington Palace to show their support for the construction of our new Centre of Excellence.
As guests arrived they were treated to a choral arrangement from the American School at the entrance to the beautifully lit Orangery.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Kate Carrafiell, the Chair of the Gala Committee who welcomed the Duchess to the event, and to her husband John Carrafiell, Chair of the Development Board. Their vision and commitment was essential to the organisation of the evening.
On her arrival, Her Royal Highness was greeted by our lifetime president and benefactor Dr Moshe Kantor and our Chair of Trustees, Michael Samuel. Her Royal Highness also met with our compère Kate Silverton – the renowned broadcaster and outspoken children’s mental health advocate. She was then spoke to students from the Family school, giving her the opportunity to catch up with Terrell who she had previously spoken to during his time at the Family school and who is now back where he wants to be, in mainstream education
After dinner Kate Silverton, introduced a short film produced specially for the event which she narrated.
The film gave our guests a valuable insight into the work the centre is doing via first hand accounts from service users. It described the huge impact that our new Centre of Excellence will have on reaching even more children and families in need of help with mental health problems. At its conclusion, Kate Silverton then invited our service users and staff up on stage where they received a rapturous round of applause.
Our compère was then delighted to introduce CEO of the Anna Freud Centre, Peter Fonagy to the stage whom she described as her “guru” for the feedback he gave her on her own writings concerning child mental health.
Peter elaborated further on the new role that the centre would play, explaining how research usually takes 17 years to be translated into practice. The new Centre of Excellence will allow instant implementation and provide instant benefits from our research. It will be unique in this country, maybe even unique in the world.
The event also afforded us the chance to launch our new instagram page which you can follow here
The evening was rounded off by an incredible performance by Bryan Ferry who had everyone on their feet from the first note.
This was the first time we had run an event on this scale and the consensus was that it was an outstanding success. We were humbled by the overwhelming enthusiasm shown to us last night and we express our deepest gratitude once again to our patron and to everyone who turned out to support our work and the new Centre of Excellence.