The Duchess of Cambridge visited Forest Hill today to launch a new family helpline. 

Crowds gathered in Perry Vale in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Kate. 

Her Royal Highness is currently at the Perry Vale branch of Family Action to launch FamilyLine, a confidential service that will provide support to parents and carers. 
News Shopper:
Kate, a mother of three, sympathised with the parenting problems of others when she chatted to volunteers manning the FamilyLine service run by the charity Family Action, telling them: "Everybody experiences the same struggle."

The team at Family Action are trained volunteers with the knowledge and experience of parenting issues to support parents and carers via telephone, text and email.

Family Action is this year celebrating 150 years of working to help vulnerable people, and today it supports about 45,000 families every year in Britain through 150 specialist services.

As Kate chatted to the volunteers she joked about the help available to mothers: "You get a lot of support with the baby years... particularly in the early days up to the age of about one, but after that there isn't a huge amount - lots of books to read."

News Shopper:
At the charity's offices in Forest Hill, south London, the duchess listened to a role-playing training session where volunteer Sagari Sarkar answered a mock call from a mother struggling to cope with looking after her baby alone.

Ms Sarkar, a mother-of-three, said about Kate's parenting comment: "I think it makes her human, it makes her in touch. She's a parent, a very active parent, and I think that's what people like about her.

"Why she's a great supporter of our service is that she does recognise that families have the same pressures and struggles and she's no exception. She may have slightly different circumstances to the rest of us but, you know, being a parent is being a parent."

News Shopper:
Kate's visit was hosted by David Holmes, the chief executive of Family Action, who is a member of the duchess's early years steering group, which is looking at ways of improving how society supports children so they have the resilience to cope with life's pressures when adults.