Royal gala celebrates new mental health Centre of Excellence
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge will attend a gala event in the Orangery at Kensington Palace for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families on Tuesday 7th November. The event will celebrate the new £39 million Centre of Excellence currently under construction on Rodney Street in Islington.
Service users and supporters of the Centre have been invited to hear more about the new site which will, for the first time, bring under one roof the very best science, education and mental health support for children and families struggling to cope with profound mental ill health.
At the heart of the campus will be a new site for the pioneering Family School. These new facilities will allow them to increase their ability to help vulnerable children who have been excluded from mainstream education and face a bleak future without the dedicated support.
Construction on the Centre is already well underway with a projected completion date of the beginning of 2019
Her Royal Highness, who is Patron of the AFNCCF, has previously visited the Centre's Early Years Parenting Unit as well as the Family School to hear more about the work of the Centre and to speak with service users. She also supported a campaign from the Centre in a nationwide campaign to promote mental wellbeing in primary schools.
In support of the campaign HRH The Duchess of Cambridge said: “As parents, we all want our children to have the best possible start in life. Encouraging children to understand and be open about their feelings can give them the skills to cope with the ups and downs that life will throw at them as they grow up.
“It’s important that our children understand that emotions are normal and that they have the confidence to ask for help if they are struggling.”
The Gala will be compered by one of the UK’s leading journalists and broadcasters, Kate Silverton. Kate is a supporter of the AFNCCF and has been working with the families and children who are beneficiaries of the family school.
As a mother to two young children and a BSc psychology graduate, Kate has also spent the past decade examining the field of child psychotherapy and is an outspoken advocate for children's mental health issues.
Kate Silverton said: “What we experience when we are very young goes a long way to influencing the adult we become. Children’s mental health is one of the most important issues for society today and finding solutions to achieving balance and wellbeing as adults has to start with understanding the importance of our early years.
“Using evidence-based research is crucial to that understanding and it’s why I’m delighted to be supporting the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Their Centre of Excellence for children and families, bringing together clinical practice, research, policy makers and the families themselves will transform mental health services for children and families in the UK and beyond.”