Duchess of Cambridge Takes a LEAP

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The Duchess of Cambridge visited Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre earlier today to learn more about the work being done by local organisations in Lambeth and their partners to support young children and their families.

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Her Royal Highness was at the centre to learn more about the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) and their use of the Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS) to support parents, carers and their children.

LEAP is funded by A Better Start, a significant 10-year funding initiative from the National Lottery Community Fund, which has sponsored five locations across the UK, including Lambeth, to test new ways of offering support services for families stronger.

The visit continues HRH’s focus on Early Years, and follows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting with front-line service providers such as health visitors committed to delivering the Better Start programme during their visit to Blackpool last week.

The Duchess met with parents and their toddlers taking part in sessions offered by LEAP and PAIRS, called ‘Circle of Security’ and ‘Together Time,’ to see different examples of what is available as part of the programme.

Circle of Security is one of two universal programmes offered to all parents with children of 0 to 4 years. It assists parents and caregivers giving them a better understanding of their child’s emotions. They also provide support for their child’s ability to successfully manage their feelings and enhance the development of their child’s self-esteem.

Together Time supports attachment and bonding between parents and infants. The group provides time and space for parents to enjoy being with their babies or toddlers and includes singing, use of child-led play and interaction.

The session that Catherine took part in today was designed to support parents’ ability to understand their child’s cues, feel more confident in their parenting and strengthen their relationship with their child.

During today’s visit, The Duchess met with representatives from the different organisations working to support families in Lambeth, including the National Lottery Community Fund, the National Children’s Bureau, which coordinates LEAP, and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), which has helped develop PAIRS.

Later this evening, The Duchess of Cambridge will attend the 2019 Portrait Gala, held at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Catherine has been the Patron of The National Portrait Gallery since January 2012.

Her Royal Highness will meet members of the gallery’s Youth Forum and view artwork produced by some of the National Portrait Gallery’s outreach programmes.

Tonight is the third gala that the Duchess has attended and, as in previous years, the funds raised will directly support the National Portrait Gallery’s work.

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