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Duchess of Cambridge ‘understands isolation’ felt by new parents | UK News

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The Duchess of Cambridge has said she can “understand” how the “sense of isolation” felt by new parents “can quickly become overriding and debilitating”.

Kate made her comments as she wrote to a steering group put together to advise her on what needs to be done to better support children in the UK.

The group’s work has highlighted the impact of the early years of a child’s life on their future development, but has underscored the pressure placed on parents.

The group has now completed its work and the duchess thanked the group ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show, where a garden encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors will be exhibited.

Kate visited plant nurseries, suppliers and specialist craftspeople as part of helping design and build the garden.

The Duchess of Cambridge in the Adam White (not in picture) and Andree Davies co-designed 'Back to Nature' garden during build week ahead of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
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Kate said she is committed to help break the inter-generational cycle of disadvantage and trauma. Pic: Kensington Palace

The mother to Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, wrote to the group: “I can understand that people are nervous about asking for help for fear of judgement, and how that sense of isolation can quickly become overriding and debilitating for any new parent.

“Recognising that the task of parenting is substantial, I have realised the importance of working to make it easier for parents to request support.

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“Your work has helped me see more clearly where there are gaps in this support for parents and families.”

Explaining why playing outdoors was so important, she said: “In recent years I have focused much of my work on the early years, and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life.

“I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults.”

Duchess of Cambridge in the Adam White and Andree Davies co-designed 'Back to Nature' garden. Pic: Kensington Palace
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The duchess says parents can be nervous about asking for help. Pic: Kensington Palace

“Through our work, you have reaffirmed my belief of just how timely it is to focus on what happens in the early years of life, and how pivotal a stage of life this is for a child’s future.”

The group presented scientific evidence that showed how a child’s brain develops to 90% of its adult size within the first five years of life.

It also questioned parents and carers to find out what they want and need to help them make sure children grow up happy, healthy and “equipped to be able to take every opportunity that comes their way”.

“It is heart-breaking to know that there is a long way to go to realising this wish,” Kate said.

“There are undoubtedly challenges in trying to bring about the transformation that will make positive change for generations to come, and help break the inter-generational cycle of disadvantage and trauma, yet I am inspired every day by the people I meet and am committed to supporting this endeavour.

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London on May 1, 2019
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The duchess stressed she is committed to working with children, like this visit to the Anna Freud National Centre

“I hope my long-term commitment to working in the early years will help make a difference over a generational timescale.”

The woodland wilderness garden she will unveil this week is by a group called Back To Nature and was co-created alongside landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

It aims to show how the natural world can improve and enhance mental and physical well-being.

The centrepiece will be a high-platform tree house, clad in stag horn oak, that is inspired by a bird or animal nest.

It will also feature a rustic den, a swing seat and a campfire in among tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow log for children to play on.

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