The awards celebrate the inspiring ambassadors of positive mental health in Place2Be schools. The Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards are open exclusively to Place2Be partner schools who were invited to nominate inspiring ambassadors who have shown a remarkable commitment to championing children and young people’s mental health. These are the second Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards and recognise the work of school leaders, teachers, support staff, parent champions, child champions and Place2Be colleagues who go above and beyond to enhance the life of the school community.
The Duchess was very taken with an adorable baby she met upon arrival.
The Duchess has been Patron of Place2Be since 2013. Ahead of the engagement, Kensington Palace noted her involvement with the charity "reflects her interest in child mental health and the importance of early intervention to provide children with in-school mental health services at the earliest stage possible".
Place2Be is the UK's leading children's mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff. The charity works directly with more than 282 primary and secondary schools across Wales, Scotland and England, reaching a school population of over 116,000 pupils.
Kate attended a reception where she met the finalists in each category.
Often times, my favourite moments from royal engagements are seeing the interactions and conversations. Tonight, Kate met Ceri who was overcome with emotion as her thirteen-year-old son Ethan told Kate about his battle with autism and Asperger's.
Ceri said: "The Duchess just leant over and said to me 'I've got to give you a hug as a mum'. I couldn't believe it, it was such a kind gesture." It was a lovely moment and I'm sure a very special one for Kate.
The Duchess presented the Child Champion and Young Person Champion Awards.
During a speech Kate praised the work of Place2Be: "Tonight, we are celebrating the truly remarkable work taking place across Place2Be schools in support of children’s mental health. Without many of the inspiring people gathered here, countless children would not receive such transformational support in their schools."
Kate's speech in full:
'I have been privileged over recent years to visit a number of schools and to meet the teachers, volunteers, and parents who make Place2Be's work a reality. Together, you ensure your students know they have somewhere to turn, someone who will listen, or simply a safe place to escape.
As you all recognise through your support of Place2Be, even the luckiest people can face great challenges. No matter how invincible we seem on the surface, all of us need help from time to time. This is why William, Harry and I have set up the Heads Together campaign. We want to end the stigma surrounding mental health that stops people getting the help that and support that they so desperately need.
On a recent visit to Stewards Academy in Harlow, William and I were so impressed by the young people we met. I know that some of you are here tonight. I wanted to thank you again for sharing your stories with us; each of you had faced difficult times but had the courage to seek support and to speak openly about your experiences, encouraging others to do the same. Our young Champion finalists here tonight are extraordinary. You have not only faced challenges but you've had the resilience to overcome them. You have also, in your willingness to have open conversations, become young mental health pioneers.
So well done to you all. I cannot tell you how moved I was to be here this evening. Thank you once again, and have a lovely night.'
Does Kate's dress tonight look familiar to you? You all voted Kate's red Preen Finella dress, worn for a government reception in Victoria during the Canada tour, as your best tour dress. It certainly appears the Duchess loved it too - so much so, she opted to wear the midi dress in black tonight.
The Finella Satin Midi Dress is crafted from heavyweight satin and has a classic fit-and-flare silhouette that's elevated with a wide asymmetric hemline, front pleated wrap, and box pleats at the skirt. The £995 garment is available in limited sizing at Net-A-Porter, Boutique1 and Farfetch.
More from the product description:
'Preen by Thorton Bregazzi's Finella dress evokes the glamourous style of the 1950s withits marked waistline, draped bodice and voluminous box-pleated skirt. Body flattering and elegant, this ensemble is the key-piece for an elegant soirée.'
The dress is from the pre-AW16 Collection. Below, a closer look at the fabric.
A look at the back from Rebecca English's photo.
Kate teamed the dress with a sparkling new belt. Kate J via What Kate Wore Facebook identified it as the Temperley London Crystal Bow Belt. It's available for $1,055 at Boutique1.
Kate debuted a gorgeous new pair of Prada shoes this evening (with thanks to the talented ladies over at WKW). The $750 Prada Suede Cutout Wave Pumps are described as "feminine suede pumps with cutout detail". Made in Italy, they feature a pointed toe and self-covered heel. A very chic addition to Kate's shoe collection, I think you'll agree!
|Saks Fifth Avenue|
Kate carried her black Mulberry clutch.
The amazing Anna quickly spotted Kate's sparkling earrings are on loan from the Queen. It's excellent to see the Duchess borrowing more pieces - there is such a extensive collection steeped in history in the jewel vaults. The Diamond Pendant earrings Kate wore tonight were previously worn by Her Majesty at the 2012 State Opening of Parliament. One of my favourite blogs, Her Majesty's Jewel Vault reports: "This pair of diamond pendant earrings includes a pendant of separate stones hanging within a diamond frame. These appeared at the 2012 State Opening of Parliament, but have no publicly known provenance as of yet."
|Kate & Sophie Blogs|
I thought tonight's look simply sublime. The Preen Finella was obviously a big hit the first time around and Kate freshened it up with the addition of the sparkling Temperley London belt, stylish new Prada shoes and the pièce de résistance: the Queen's diamond pendant earrings. What do you think of tonight's look? And do you prefer the Preen midi dress in red or black?
You can watch a brief video here.
If you're just joining us, Kate had an unannounced engagement earlier today at the Natural History Museum. The Duchess wore the L.K. Bennett Cersie dress for the outing. You can read the post in its entirety here.
We'll see you on Friday with our annual Black Friday wrap up.