South East Wales

Duchess of Cambridge visits children's charities

Duchess of Cambridge Image copyright Wales News Service

The Duchess of Cambridge has travelled to south Wales in her first official engagement as patron of a children's charity.

She is visiting Action for Children centres in Torfaen and Caerphilly.

The duchess took over the role of royal patron from the Queen in December.

Sir Tony Hawkhead, the charity's chief executive, said he was "thrilled" to introduce her "to the specialised work we do with families".

The duchess visited Torfaen Multi-disciplinary Intervention Service (MIST), a child and adolescent mental health project, where she enjoyed an impromptu game of pool with teenagers who use the service.

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Media captionThe Duchess of Cambridge plays pool on a visit to a children's charity

Craig, 15, who became her team-mate, said: "She was talking about how MIST helps us and stuff with life and school. She was really interested in what we were talking about."

Asked what he thought of her pool skills he pulled a face and said: "She was dreadful."

Children's services manager Jenny Welham said the visit was "important" for the families helped by the project.

"It's a celebration of the hard work that they've achieved and the changes that they've made in their lives," she said.

"Lots of our children come from very difficult backgrounds so to have the duchess come and celebrate with them the changes they've made, is really important."

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Media captionDuchess south Wales visit 'a celebration' for children

Later, the duchess was given flowers by Ypapanti, eight, and Chloe, 10, and told them "both George and Charlotte would have loved to have met you".

Chloe said she had always wanted to meet a member of the royal family and had managed to get "five hugs" from the duchess.

The duchess went on to visit the Caerphilly Family Intervention Team, which works with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, problems with family relationships and those who have or who are likely to self-harm.

She also sat in on a private family therapy session and take part in a round-table discussion to learn more about the issues children and families face and the support Action for Children provides.

Sir Tony said: "We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness for her continued interest in the vital work we do, not just in Wales, but at our 600 services across the UK."

Image caption The duchess spoke to parents and foster carers at the Torfaen MIST project

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