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  • Writer's pictureRuth Braidwood

The Maudsley Charity

By Dr Ruth Braidwood

What is the Maudsley Charity, and why/when was it founded?

Maudsley Charity supports patients and carers, clinical care teams and scientists who are working towards improving mental health. We fund ideas, big and small, that drive improvement and support people who experience mental illness. We work together with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the Maudsley Hospital, and King’s College London.

In 1908, Dr Henry Maudsley, an eminent psychiatrist, had a vision for a new kind of hospital to treat mental illness that would also provide university-level psychiatric teaching and research. He believed that by bringing together clinicians, researchers and educators, our ability to understand and treat mental illness could be transformed. Through his vision the Maudsley Hospital was opened in 1923. We represent a modern version of that vision in charitable form. We can trace our history back to 1247, when the Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem was established in Bishopsgate. This later became the Bethlem Royal Hospital, the UK’s oldest psychiatric hospital, where some of our projects take place today.

Ruth working with a young person (Kashai) to develop an app to support young people’s mental health

What sort of projects do you fund?

The Maudsley Charity funds the people and projects who are working to improve care, support recovery and prevent mental illness. Many of our projects are partnerships with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London. These organisations provide world-leading care, research and specialist services in mental illness. We also work with a wide range of voluntary and community organisations who share our values and commitment to improving mental health. Our grants range from multi-million pound clinical and research initiatives, to small scale projects supporting individuals. We are committed to those who live locally – our primary area of operation is south east London including Southwark, but we believe that through sharing good practice across the NHS and beyond these projects can often have an impact across both the UK and internationally.

The Maudsley Charity funds cutting edge research

How can the community get involved?

We have lots of opportunities for the local community to fundraise for the Charity, whether that’s a challenging sport event, sky dive, or a bake sale. We still have charity places for next year’s London Marathon, and will provide lots of support along the way. You can register on our website:

We also fund a Volunteering programme for young people and adults, if you want to get involved in supporting mental health services. Volunteers can contribute in a wide range of roles, including ward-based, befriending projects, research, gardening, library assistants, Bethlem Museum of the Mind and Bethlem Gallery volunteers, and sports and walking groups.

We regularly host events at the ORTUS, the home of the Charity, on the site of the Maudsley Hospital. ORTUS is a few minutes’ walk from Denmark Hill station (82-96 Grove Lane, SE5 8SN).

Open to everyone, visitors can take part in exhibitions, art workshops, mental health talks and film screenings. We operate an award winning café, so if you’re in the area why not pop in for a coffee or lunch? Look out for the Bethlem Art Fair and wreath-making workshops on 10th December, with all proceeds supporting the work of Maudsley Charity projects.

Future plans for the Maudsley Charity?

Next year we will launch an ambitious new project in partnership with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, that aims to ensure that all young people enter adulthood with good mental health. We will start to develop a programme of research, education and clinical innovation that will create a step change in our understanding of and ability to prevent mental illness, intervene early and build resilience in children and young people.

For more information, check out the Maudsley Charity’s website:


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