The Duchess of Cambridge said there’s an urgent need to “focus on these issues so that we can create a happier, healthier, more nurturing society”

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton on Friday
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Kate Middleton is speaking out on the link between addiction and trauma in early childhood.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who last week launched the latest step in her bid to champion work on behalf of young children, praised the "passion" of those who work in the field.  

It came as she was announced as Patron of The Forward Trust, which last month merged with Action on Addiction.

"I have had the privilege of being Patron of Action on Addiction for 9 years, and have seen the work of The Forward Trust at HMP Send on several occasions," Kate said in a statement. 

"I am continually struck by the passion, expertise and commitment of the staff and volunteers, and indeed it was the conversations I had with individuals and families affected by addiction that have been a major driving force in my ongoing work on early childhood," she continued. "With the link between early childhood trauma and addiction later in life becoming more widely understood, it is more important than ever that we focus on these issues The Forward Trust helps people break cycles of addiction and crime so they can build positive futures."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton on Friday
| Credit: Pohle/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

It was during a speech at a gala dinner for Action on Addiction that Kate, 39, outlined some of what she had discovered as she became more and more immersed in the efforts to help the youngest children. "Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don't receive the help they need early enough. They have already reached crisis point before they find the support they need," she said at the event two years ago."

She continued, "What's remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery. It also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction for as long as it takes."

By merging, the two organizations hope to meet increased demand for help arising from lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to continue their mission to support families and children impacted by addiction in order to end the cycle of harm.

In tandem with the announcement, the Forward Trust is launching a Recovery Fund targeting $12.6 million (£9 million) of extra funds to help respond to growing demand for addiction treatment and support. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton at the roundtable discussion at LSE today
| Credit: Pohle/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

When she kicked off her new Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, Kate met with Julie Muir from The Forward Trust to discuss howthe Centre will raise awareness of and action on the early years in order to transform society for generations to come.

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The Hon. David Bernstein, Chairman of The Forward Trust, praised the Duchess for renewing her commitment "to lifting the stigma around addiction so that more people can ask for help will have a profound impact."

He added in a statement, "The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction, rates of harmful drinking and drug related deaths are at an all-time high, and gambling addiction is rising at an alarming rate. All this is happening at a time when access to treatment has been diminishing. Our merger with Action on Addiction is our commitment to help address this demand."