The Duchess of Cambridge with Ceri and Ethan Knapton at the Place2Be Awards
(photo Kensington Palace Instagram)
Sometimes, a hand on the shoulder is all we need to help us move forward. Last night, The Duchess of Cambridge came to the aid of a mum who was overwhelmed with emotion as her son talked about living with autism. Kate gave Ceri Knapton a hug to comfort her and told her that she had to do it, 'as a mum'.
That shared experience came at the Place2Be Awards in London which recognise work in schools and by school pupils and teachers to understand and support mental health issues. Kate is the charity's patron and has been a high profile supporter of its work for several years.
Kate met Ceri, and her son Ethan, at the reception for the awards. Ethan told the Duchess of Cambridge about his experiences with autism and how he had been bullied at primary school before he was diagnosed. As he told Kate that he wanted to use his experiences to create a better understanding of autism, his mum couldn't keep her tears in any longer. Ceri, who comes from Lancashire, broke down with Kate on hand to comfort her. Afterwards, she said that she had vowed not to cry but was so overcome with pride for Ethan that the tears came.
Kate met the award winners, members of the charity and school teachers and pupils at the ceremony as well as presenting two awards - the Child Champion, won by 11 year old Cerys Kenny from Essex, and the Young Person Champion prize, won by 16 year old Kaii Bailey from Hackney.
The Duchess of Cambridge also made a speech in which she said that ''without many of the inspiring people gathered here this evening, countless children would not receive the transformational support in their schools.''
She went on to tell the audience that ''it is because of so many of you, that in their time of need, children have the help, care and attention that will get them through tough times in their lives.''
The Duchess of Cambridge has been patron of Place2Be since 2013 and the organisation is part of the Heads Together campaign launched earlier this year by Kate, William and Harry and which aims to change the conversation on mental health. The hug for a mum in need will have gone a long way to doing that as well.