(L-R) Francine Bates OBE, Chief Executive, The Lullaby Trust; The Duchess of Gloucester, Patron of The Lullaby Trust; Emilia Fox, International actress and The Lullaby Trust Ambassador and Christian Jones, Managing Director, The Gro Company.
The festive spirit was in full swing this evening at St. James’s Palace as The Duchess of Gloucester and actress Emilia Fox celebrated 25 years of The Lullaby Trust’s Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme.
The Duchess is patron of the Lullaby Trust and Ms. Fox is the Charity’s Ambassador.
Sponsored by The Gro Company who designs products for newborns to toddlers, over 300 guests were in attendance, including 250 health visitors.
The gathering resplendent in holiday décor including a 16 foot Christmas tree also was entertained by the Olswang LLP Choir. The celebration not only recognised the 25th anniversary of The Lullaby Trust’s CONI programme but honoured the health visitors in attendance that provide the irreplaceable assistance to young families all over the country. “CONI provides support to families who are looking forward to a new arrival, but who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a baby in the past,” said a statement from St. James’s Palace.
“We were delighted to have our Patron, The Duchess of Gloucester here tonight to share this special occasion, as well as our valued Ambassador, Ms Emilia Fox, who has taken time out of her busy filming schedule to be with us,” Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, Francine Bates OBE replied during her speech.
CONI, The Lullaby Trust affords the funding for specialist-monitoring gear and furnishes health information and assurance from birth through six months. Over 20,000 families have revived support and assistance from the programme in the past 25 years.
“Tonight has been a wonderful testament to The Lullaby Trust and CONI’s dedication during the last 25 years. Having HRH The Duchess of Gloucester in attendance, The Lullaby Trust Patron, as well as Charity Ambassador, Emilia Fox, made the evening evermore special. It was a pleasure for The Gro Company to be part of these group celebrations,” Christian Jones, Managing Director of The Gro Company, commented.
The Duchess of Gloucester is a working member of the Royal Family. She appears at many Royal engagements in support of patronages and organisations and also to represent Her Majesty.
“As members of the Royal Family and in our public life, The Duke and I have the huge privilege of continuously meeting people greatly committed to their work with charitable causes – many individuals being volunteers, doing all kinds of good works, giving of their time, talents and expertise. Some high-powered and greatly skilled, others willing to do the most mundane but essential tasks – all of them enjoying being part of a team supporting a noble cause. It is inspiring and immensely rewarding meeting these volunteers on my varying engagements in London and throughout the country. I meet volunteers in schools, often for children with special needs, medical research projects, hospices, homes for older and frail people, and also in community initiatives for sport, music and the conservation of the Arts. I see so many wonderful places, and it is the people involved who make them so,” The Duchess commented on the British Monarchy website.
Currently, The Duchess supports 63 patronages or charities.