Action on Addiction is one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s key causes
Kate Middleton went glam for a dinner date with one of her favorite causes on Wednesday evening.
Just one day after getting her hands dirty shearing sheep in rural Cumbria, England, Kate headed across town from her Kensington Palace home for the gala dinner at a London eatery.
The celebration at Spring restaurant in Somerset House was for Action on Addiction’s Addiction Awareness Week, which aims to foster discussion about the varied elements of addiction and engage with people and families affected.
Action on Addiction is one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s key causes and something that she spoke about with locals in Cumbria on Tuesday.
The royal mom, 37, looked radiant in a white off-the-shoulder dress by Barbara Casasola. Kate, who is known for recycling her favorite looks, previously sported the ankle-length gown to present the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award at the Natural History Museum in July 2016. She completed the look with sparkling silver heels by Jimmy Choo and her hair blown into elegant waves.
Before the dinner, which was co-hosted by chef Skye Gynge, Kate chatted with Action on Addiction clients who are working as apprentices in the kitchen. The royal met Jay Otty, who has been sober for nine years and now works front of house at The Brink, a dry bar in Liverpool, and Melanie Bennett, who says her treatment at the charity’s Self-Help Addiction Recovery Programme (SHARP) in Liverpool was life-saving. They helped head chef and owner Skye Gyngell to create the evening’s meal.
Leaning over a worktop of plates waiting to be filled for the evening, Kate said it must be “so rewarding” for them to now be giving back to help others recover.
The dinner started with a salad made with radishes, carrots, broad beans, stracciatella and verbena oil. After a main course of River Test trout, lemon cake with elderflower cream and gooseberries was served for dessert.
She then went on to make a brief speech, recognizing the work done by the charity, and reflect on her time as Patron and how it has also inspired other elements of her work.
“Action on Addiction was one of my very first patronages, and as such, it is very close to my heart,” she said. “I’m hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents, children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction. And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development too.”
Kate shared that many times the cause of addiction can be traced back to childhood trauma.
“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 explained. “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.”
She added, “This evening’s dinner not only marks Addiction Awareness Week, but it also provides an opportunity for us all to remember the vital work being done to help all those affected by addiction feel able to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction.”
In Cumbria on Tuesday, she was praised for the impact she is having for people with addictions and the work she’s done to raise awareness of how drug and alcohol abuse affects families.
“She talked about the subject of early intervention among the youth and schools. You can see she’s really keen to look into it further,” said Phil Caine, recovery coach.
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Simon Morsby, who has recovered from drug use and is now part of the Cumbria Drug and Alcohol Service, told PEOPLE, “I felt I could have talk to her for an hour and she would have wanted to do so too. I was really impressed.”
Action on Addiction helps both individuals and families affected by drugs and alcohol in various ways — from developing top quality, and the most effective, residential and community-based addiction treatment services to promoting self-help and peer-to-peer support. It also campaigns to raise the standard of professional education across the addictions field, funds groundbreaking research into different facets of addiction, and works to remove the stigma relating to addiction.