We are back with a very quick post about The Duchess’s ‘virtual visit’ last week to Clouds House, an Action on Addiction treatment center.
You may recall that Action on Addiction is one of Kate’s longest-running patronages; she has done many engagements over the years involving the organization. Below, the Duchess at the charity’s gala dinner last June.
Most recently, Action on Addiction was part of an April roundtable chaired by the Duke and Duchess; the meeting was convened to discuss the impact COVID-19 was having on the nation’s mental health.
The Duchess made a private visit to Clouds House back in 2012. More about that very first visit from a Daily Mail story:
The Duchess of Cambridge spent several hours speaking with drug addicts and alcoholics yesterday, it has been revealed.
As her husband left for a six-week tour of duty in The Falklands, Kate went on a ‘private’ visit to the Action on Addiction headquarters in Wiltshire.
Below, Clouds House, located in Wiltshire.
On last Thursday’s call, Kate learned about how the charity has been able to continue its work during the lockdown resulting from the pandemic. Action on Addiction’s CEO Graham Beech gave The Duchess a virtual tour of Clouds House and spoke about the importance of reaching out for help during the ongoing crisis. Below left, you see the CEO and two other staffers.
The center has been able to stay open during the lockdown because of its dedicated staff who have been practicing rigorous infection control and following PHE and Government guidelines. Kate spoke with staff during the call and heard about ways they have adapted their treatments to accommodate the changes necessitated by the pandemic. She also listened as they described their concerns there might be a surge in demand for treatment as lockdown eases.
Kate spoke about the facility providing “…a lifeline to so many people and it’s great that they’re able to continue the support whether remotely or those who actually are seeking treatment now, during lockdown, and finding life-changing support…”.
The Duchess also noted that “The worrying thing is, it is all those people who aren’t necessarily reaching out who are struggling, who perhaps don’t feel they can reach out. Or the fact that maybe they haven’t realized that addictive behaviors have sort of established, particularly if it’s the first time – and it’s those people who aren’t necessarily being vocal about it. It’s making sure that they know they can reach out and that you are here to help and support them in this very difficult time.”
Kate spoke with clients currently staying at the facility and also chatted with several aftercare patients (clockwise from top right): Chris, Claire, and Lucy.
Chris spoke about how daunting it can be leaving the facility and returning to the ‘real world.’ He also said that for him, lockdown was a bit of a blessing in disguise, providing “a stepping stone back into reality.”
Claire spoke about how she is staying in touch by phone with other Clouds House clients.
At the end of the call, Mr. Beech walked outside and showed Kate all of the staffers waving ‘hello’ from the building’s parking lot, prompting a big smile from the Duchess. You can hear her say, “Oh my goodness, hello everybody!”
Mr. Beech also updated Kate on a new national poll by You Gov the charity commissioned. More from The Daily Mail’s coverage:
Mr. Beech told the duchess their website was busier than ever and they were doing as much as they could to connect people digitally and also to let people know Clouds was still open.
He added: ‘We have done some polling and we have discovered that people are struggling during lockdown.
Among the findings: addictive behaviors are rising as a result of the pandemic.
- A quarter of UK adults are drinking more than they were before lockdown.
- Of these, 15 percent said they were experiencing physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms as well as problems relating to relationships, work, money, or sleep.
- Four percent of those surveyed (on a national scale this would mean over 2 million people) said they had a close relative, aged between 12 and 25, who was showing increasing signs of developing addictive behavior during the lockdown.
You can read all about the poll results by clicking here.
Here is the full video released by Kensington Palace.
Now for our look at what Kate wore during last week’s call.
She was in a vibrant red top or shirt that might also be described as deep orange, depending on one’s monitor. It looks like it might be silk or a silk blend with a concealed front placket and contrast banded interior collar.
I think her earrings may have been the Daniella Draper hoops first seen in Ireland (minus the shamrock charms); they were worn this way for a call with midwives and parents of newborns in May. We first noted the earrings styled in this fashion in March for a London Ambulance engagement.
- Learn more about Action on Addiction at the charity’s website here; the organization’s Facebook page is here; it’s Twitter feed is here; the Instagram page is here
- The Daily Mail’s story is here; a Town and Country piece is here; Simon Perry’s People coverage is here; Russell Myers’ story for The Mirror is here; Danielle Stacey’s Hello! article is here