Kate becomes patron of addiction recovery charity

The Duchess of Cambridge has become patron of addiction recovery charity The Forward Trust, Kensington Palace has announced.

The charity empowers people to break the cycles of addiction or crime to move forward with their lives.

Action on Addiction, one of Kate’s first ever patronages, merged with The Forward Trust in May to meet the increased demand for help during the Covid-19 crisis, and its services will continue to run through the trust.

UK-wide survey on early childhood
The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with former prisoners during a visit to HMP Send near Woking in Surrey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The duchess said she was “delighted” the two charities had taken “this bold step to join forces and help more people, families and children to overcome addiction”.

She added: “I have had the privilege of being patron of Action on Addiction for nine years, and have seen the work of The Forward Trust at HMP Send on several occasions.

“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.

“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 so that we can create a happier, healthier, more nurturing society.”

Duchess of Cambridge visits Hope House treatment centre in Clapham
The Duchess of Cambridge as she visits the kitchens at Hope House residential centre, run by Action on Addiction in London (Mary Turner/The Times/PA)

The Forward Trust is set to launch a recovery fund targeting an additional £9 million to help respond to the growing need for addiction treatment and support.

David Bernstein, chairman of the charity, said of Kate: “Renewing her commitment to lifting the stigma around addiction so that more people can ask for help will have a profound impact.

“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.”