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Duchess of Cambridge opens mental health charity’s new home in Clerkenwell

PUBLISHED: 12:14 12 March 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge talking to students at the officially opening of Place2Be’s new home in Clerkenwell. Photo by Place2Be

The Duchess of Cambridge talking to students at the officially opening of Place2Be’s new home in Clerkenwell. Photo by Place2Be

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Clerkenwell is the new home of a mental health charity bidding to transform the level of support available to kids at school.

Place2Be chair of trustees Simon Mackenzie Smith stands alongside HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as she unveils a plaque to mark the building's official opening. Photo by Place2BePlace2Be chair of trustees Simon Mackenzie Smith stands alongside HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as she unveils a plaque to mark the building's official opening. Photo by Place2Be

Place2Be has moved to its new headquarters in St John Street with the express aim of training more professionals who can speak to children suffering in silence at school.

The move – from further north in the borough at City Road – was marked with an official opening ceremony attended by charity patron the Duchess of Cambridge last week.

“We know that schools have a vital role to play in creating an emotionally healthy culture for children,” the Duchess said.

“Schools, however, cannot and should not have to manage all this alone. School leaders and teachers need expert guidance and training to develop their own approaches to supporting children’s mental wellbeing.

“As its patron, I am incredibly proud of the contribution that Place2Be is making towards exactly this.

“They are training and guiding thousands of counsellors, and many hundreds of school leaders, teachers and staff, based on the evidence and experience gathered from their frontline work.”

Her Royal Highness used the visit to learn more about research conducted by the charity around mental health, which is a key part of her work to support mothers, teachers and parents in order to ensure children have the best possible start in life.

She also took part in a discussion with mental health professionals who have completed one of Place2Be’s accredited child counselling qualifications, as well as school leaders on the charity’s ‘mental ealth Champions programme.

The charity, which is working in New North Academy and Blessed Sacrament Primary School, wants to be a have a bigger presence in schools across the country.

Place2Be’s chief executive Catherine Roche said: “We are passionate about ensuring that every child has access to high quality mental health support.

“We hope that our new building will become a centre for excellence in children’s mental health, driving progress through evidence-based practice, professional development and research.

“It will enable us to increase our impact by ensuring more children and young people get the support they need.”

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