Kate joins Ronnie Wood at gala dinner for addiction charity

The Duchess of Cambridge rubbed shoulders with Ronnie Wood at an event to mark Addiction Awareness Week.

The event was hosted by charity Action on Addiction – of which Kate is patron – and was held at the Spring restaurant at London’s Somerset House.

Ronnie Wood and his wife Sally
Ronnie Wood and his wife Sally

Wood – who has been open about his struggle with alcoholism – and his wife Sally were seated at top table with the duchess.

Ahead of the gala dinner on Wednesday evening, Kate met with clients of Action on Addiction helping to prepare and serve the evening meal under Spring’s Michelin-star winning chef Skye Gyngell.

The duchess met with Jay Otty, who has been sober for nine years after participating in the charity’s self-help and addiction recovery programme, and now works as front of house staff at The Brink – a dry bar in Liverpool.

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She also met Melanie Bennett, who was helped by the charity’s recovery programme after she struggled with substance abuse following the death of her father.

Kate wore a white floor-length dress by Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola teamed with sparkly silver heels.

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Action on Addiction was one Kate’s earliest patronages and she said her experiences with the charity have helped inform her wider work in mental health, particularly the mental health and wellbeing of children.

The duchess described Action on Addiction as “the catalyst” for her interest in early childhood development.

In a speech, she said: “Having met so many people who’ve suffered from addiction, I have seen over and over again that, sadly, the root causes can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life.”

"What’s remarkable about @ActionAddiction 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." #AddictionAwarenessWeekpic.twitter.com/O09CAnin23

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 12, 2019

She continued: “Trauma experienced in early childhood, in some cases, as a result of separation, abandonment, abuse, or even emotional neglect, can have a lasting effect.”

She added: “Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don’t receive the help they need early enough.”

Many people reach crisis point before they find support, she said. Action on Addiction works across addiction research and treatment, as well offering family support and professional education.

It also helps others whose lives are blighted by addiction to gambling and other behaviours.

The charity said Addiction Awareness Week, which runs from June 10-16, aims to raise public awareness about the issues surrounding addiction and to engage with people and families affected.

It also aims to lift the stigma attached to addiction.