Duchess honours brave Preston schoolboy who beat the bullies

A brave Preston youngster has told the Duchess of Cambridge about how he campaigns to beat school bullies.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 11:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:26 am
The Duchess of Cambridge comforts Ceri Knapton, who joins her son Ethan Knapton PHOTO: Eamonn M. McCormack/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge comforts Ceri Knapton, who joins her son Ethan Knapton PHOTO: Eamonn M. McCormack/PA Wire

Ethan Knapton, 13, met Kate at the Place2Be’s Wellbeing in Schools Awards in London.

Ethan has raised awareness of Asperger’s syndrome, a condition he has, and has even delivered assemblies in a bid to reduce bullying and inform others of how it affects him.

Ethan, who was a young person champion award finalist, told Kate how he was bullied in primary school and that Place2Be helped him to build up his confidence.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ceri Knapton and her son Ethan Knapton. PHOTO: Eamonn M. McCormack/PA Wire

His mum Ceri could be seen welling up as she listened to her son speak to the royal.

“It was just hearing him talk,” she said of her tears and pride towards her son who attends Fulwood Academy in Preston.

Also receiving a hug from Princess Diana when she was younger, Ceri who was crying and embraced by Kate, said: “She just said to me, ‘I have got to give you a hug - as a mum’ - it was really lovely actually.”

As the awards got under way Kate took to the stage to address the 350 guests who had packed out the ornate room.

Ceri Knapton and her son Ethan Knapton. PHOTO: Eamonn M. McCormack/PA Wire

The duchess said it was “a great honour” to be at the event to celebrate their “remarkable work”.

She said: “Without many of the inspiring people gathered here this evening, countless children would not receive the transformational support in their schools.

“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.

“I am a firm believer that it is absolutely crucial to confront problems as early as possible, to prevent them from escalating into even greater issues later in life.

“This is why Place2Be’s work - prioritising children’s emotional wellbeing from the outset - is so important.”

Mental Health is an important priority for the duchess - along with the duke and Prince Harry they set up the Heads Together campaign which aims to challenge the stigma around talking about mental health.

The awards are open exclusively to Place2Be partner schools, who were invited to nominate inspiring ambassadors who have shown a remarkable commitment to championing children and young people’s mental health. They recognise the work of school leaders, teachers, support staff, parent champions, child champions and Place2Be colleagues who go above and beyond.