PACT (Parents and Children Together) in Southwark is a community-led social support project which aims to build a confident, resilient community of parents who can give their children the best start in life.

The Duchess of Cambridge visited PACT as part of her work on early childhood to learn more about how communities can support parents and their families with their mental wellbeing and improve the health and development outcomes for young children.

It was initiated in Southwark after parents, community and faith leaders identified mental health issues and isolation as the biggest challenges impacting on their ability to parent and give their children the best start in life. The project has since expanded to Leeds and Newcastle.

During her visit, The Duchess met volunteers and attendees of PACT Southwark’s weekly MumSpace group, which provides a welcoming space for local parents to discuss relevant issues and work through any challenges they are facing. MumSpace is one of many activities run by the organisation to reach parents who might not otherwise have access to support. Her Royal Highness also met a health visitor who regularly attends the group to provide advice and signposting to other services, and joined a cooking workshop with parents and children.

By creating local support networks and providing reliable connections for families, PACT helps to combat isolation, support parental mental health and engage a number of hard-to-reach communities to access health and social services. The project works on a parent-led approach which involves listening to parents’ needs and working on solutions together, empowering them to make change within their own communities.

Through her work over the past decade The Duchess of Cambridge has seen first-hand how some of today’s hardest social challenges have their roots in the earliest years of a person’s life. The Duchess is committed to raising awareness of the importance of early childhood experiences and of collaborative action in order to improve outcomes across society.