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News 24 June 2021

The Duchess of Cambridge becomes Patron of The Forward Trust

Today The Duchess of Cambridge has become Patron of The Forward Trust, which formally merged with Action on Addiction in May 2021.

Action on Addiction was one of The Duchess’s first Patronages in 2012 and its services will continue to run through The Forward Trust.

The merged charities have joined forces to strengthen their ability to meet increased demand for help arising from lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to continue their mission to support families and children impacted by addiction in order to end the cycle of harm.

Together, these leading addiction charities will continue challenging the misunderstanding and prejudice that surrounds addiction and stops people getting help. Demonstrating this raised ambition, The Forward Trust will launch a Recovery Fund targeting £9 million of additional funds to help respond to growing demand for addiction treatment and support.

Last week, The Duchess launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, and met with Julie Muir from The Forward Trust to discuss howthe Centre will raise awareness of and action on the early years in order to transform society for generations to come.

The Duchess of Cambridge said:

I am delighted that The Forward Trust and Action on Addiction have taken this bold step to join forces and help more people, families and children to overcome addiction. 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.

The Hon. David Bernstein, Chairman of The Forward Trust, said:

We are deeply honoured that The Duchess of Cambridge has joined the charity as our Patron. 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.

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We are launching The Forward Trust Recovery Fund to shine a spotlight on initiatives we are funding in this way and to increase the amount raised towards helping people to become more than their past.

Mike Trace, CEO, The Forward Trust FInd out more about the Recovery Fund