THE Duchess of Cambridge helped officially launch a new county wide drug and alcohol project on Wednesday.

Kate Middleton visited charity Action on Addiction’s new treatment centre in Wickford to launch a new programme commissioned by Essex County Council called ‘Clouds in the Community’.

After removing her high heeled shoe from a grate in the floor, where it had become lodged while she shook hands with council members, The Duchess officially opened the new Wickford Centre.

She also took part in a round-table discussion which was led by the council's head of wellbeing and public health, Ben Hughes. and chairman Cllr John Aldridge.

Clouds in the Community aims to bring about long term recovery, abstinence and improvements in participants’ physical and psychological health.

Along with Action on Addiction's other centre in Braintree, 48 week recovery programmes are provided at the centre and available to people from anywhere in the county.

Cllr Aldridge said: “It was an honour to meet HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and for her to be shown the fantastic work being done in our County to help turn around the lives of those suffering addiction.

"A visit of this magnitude really raises awareness of the issues that those suffering addiction face, and the local support services that really make a difference.

"It has also been an opportunity to break the stigma that is associated with addiction by getting people talking about the issue.”

To find out more, go to