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13-year-old Lizzie, from Gravesend, meets Kate Middleton at conference

PUBLISHED: 16:37 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 17 January 2018

From left, Pippa Stickells from Gravesend; Lizzy Parker, from Gravesend (in front); Mia Adams from Sittingbourne; HeadStart Kent programme manager, Angela Ford (at the back); Charlotte Swaine from Ashford; Millie May from the Isle of Sheppey at the event. Picture: HeadStart

From left, Pippa Stickells from Gravesend; Lizzy Parker, from Gravesend (in front); Mia Adams from Sittingbourne; HeadStart Kent programme manager, Angela Ford (at the back); Charlotte Swaine from Ashford; Millie May from the Isle of Sheppey at the event. Picture: HeadStart

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A 13-year-old from Gravesend spoke at a national mental health conference and met the Duchess of Cambridge.

Lizzy Parker joined two other youngsters from Kent– Charlotte Swaine, 16, and Milli May, 13 – in speaking at the event. Pippa Stickells, from Gravesend, also attended, helping to write the script and taking photos for social media websites for Headstart.

They joined senior management from the HeadStart Kent programme at the London conference, last week which focused on improving young people’s mental resilience.

More than 30,000 young people, aged 11 to 14, were surveyed by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and University College London. This included 10,000 from Kent.

The results showed that girls are more than twice as likely to experience emotional difficulties than boys, whilst boys are significantly more likely to experience behavioural problems.

HeadStart Kent programme manager, Angela Ford said: “Lizzy, Millie and Charlie described how we can get young people and families involved in the design and delivery of any services which aims to benefit them through ensuring every conversation counts.”

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