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Kate makes a caring call on her charity Action for Addiction before Christmas

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
10 December 2015
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In the lead-up to Christmas, the Duchess of Cambridge is showing no signs of slowing down. The day after taking part in the ICAP Charity Day with her husband Prince William, Kate ventured a little further from London to call on one of her charities.

As patron of Action on Addiction, Kate visited the charity's Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies in Warminster, Wiltshire.

The Duchess has been focusing her autumn engagements on foster care and mental health in young people, but on Thursday's visit she chose to highlight another issue close to her heart – supporting those who struggle with addiction.

kate middleton smiling © Photo: Getty Images

Kate wrapped up in a houndstooth Reiss coat

Making her much-awaited arrival, Kate, 33, showed off her sartorial prowess in a houndstooth Reiss coat and an Emilia Wickstead dress.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte's mum was also showing off her new shorter hair, which she debuted at Wednesday's engagement in the City.

During her visit to the centre, Kate saw how the facility provides training, education and professional development for those working with addicts, including social workers, nurses and prison officers.

kate middleton1 © Photo: Rex

The Duchess is visiting the charity's Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies 

She heard from course tutors and examiners and learn about their training, before joining a ceremony to celebrate the graduation of students from the Foundation and Honours degree programmes accredited by the University of Bath.

The centre, in partnership with the University, trains addiction counsellors to a higher standard than ever before. So far 200 people have graduated from the centre; over 60 per cent of students have disclosed either a family connection or declared themselves in recovery.

As she sat with a group of new graduates, Kate said: "It's such a positive story for all of you."

kate dress © Photo: Rex

"She's very keen to learn," said outgoing chief executive of the charity Nick Barton

One graduate, Martha Bache, opened up about her addiction to presciption pills. "I recognised I had a problem and wanted to do this course. I was interested to learn and help people and support people whatever the problem," said the 30-year-old.

Speaking about their royal visitor, Martha added: "She is so lovely and friendly. That is what we have to do as counsellors. We give people a voice and some tools and the fact is she can talk to us in the same way. "She's incredibly warm, she's a human being who inspires me. She shows empathy, the same empathy that I am aspiring to have."

As she posed with the graduates for photos, Kate suggested: "Let's do one with your hats.

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Kate congratulated students who have graduated from their university course in addition counselling

"What's always struck me is she's very keen to learn," Nick Barton, outgoing chief executive of the charity, said of the Duchess.

"You can tell from the quality of her questions. She's hearing from students for a session to hear about why she chose this course and what good it's been for them and what it's going to do for them. She's genuinely interested which is great."

Kate also received an update on the local M-PACT programmes which take a whole family approach to tackling substance misuse. The Duchess met families and participants and heard about how the charity supports the children of addicted parents.

View post on Twitter

"Let's do one with your hats," Kate suggested, as she posed with the graduates for photos

One of the graduates, David Gabriel from Frome, Somerset, whose parents were both alcoholics, said: "She seemed to know exactly what she is talking about. The fact that she is looking at this from all angles and is here today is great."

The royal's last engagement with Action on Addiction was in September, when Kate visited a women's prison in Surrey. The Duchess met inmates who are battling addictions to drugs and alcohol and later said she was "grateful" to the women "for sharing their difficult personal stories".

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