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10 May 2023

Progress on The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People

By this time next year, our new, world-leading Pears Maudsley Centre will be open. It will combine the very best mental health clinical support, pioneering research and specialist education to create a unique hub to better understand, prevent and treat mental illness in children and young people, now and for future generations.

An artistic impression of the Pears-Maudsley building exterior.

By this time next year, our new, world-leading Pears Maudsley Centre will be open. It will combine the very best mental health clinical support, pioneering research and specialist education to create a unique hub to better understand, prevent and treat mental illness in children and young people, now and for future generations.

The Progress Report for the new Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People has recently been published.

In it, you can read more about the Centre's vision to better research, understand and treat mental illness in children and young people, the role that philanthropy continues to play in its creation, and how it will be a space that demonstrates the importance of creativity in health.

Below, we share some extracts from the report. If you would like to read the document in full, you can do so here.

Three people stand together in discussion

Children and young people’s mental health – an investment in the future

Our vision is to ensure that each child enters adulthood with the best possible mental health. By this time next year, our new, world-leading Pears Maudsley Centre will be open. It will combine the very best mental health clinical support and pioneering research and specialist education to create a unique hub to understand, prevent and treat mental illness in young people, now and for future generations.

In the report, you can read about the ongoing building work and the initiatives already underway, including our new art installations. Three new commissions were selected by a group of young people aged 16 – 21 brought together specifically to advise on developing an art strategy for the Pears Maudsley Centre. These art installations are at the heart of creating a beautiful, welcoming, restful building, far removed from the traditional clinical environments of mental health institutions and transforming how the hospital environment is experienced by service users, patients, and staff.

We have welcomed two important visitors over the last month. Children's Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza (right), visited Snowsfield Adolescent Unit and Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital School to tour our children and adolescents service and speak to staff and service users about their experiences.

Maria Caulfield MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy, visited the Michael Rutter Centre to hear about children, adolescent and adult autism services from staff and service users. Maria is a key advocate of the Government’s new Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan for England, which aims to improve the speed of autism assessments. Snowsfield Adolescent Unit, Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital School and the Michael Rutter Centre will all move into the Pears Maudsley Centre.

Thank you to all our donors for your continuing support. Your generosity will make a significant difference to the lives of thousands of children and young people who are struggling with mental health challenges. With your help, we can create a brighter future for the next generation.

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Capital fundraising

We have now raised £24.36m towards our £27m philanthropic contribution towards the Centre. We are seeking our final group of visionary philanthropists to raise the outstanding £2.64m which will make the Centre come to fruition.

All spaces will carry the names of the donors, if wished, and there will be a prominent donor recognition glass wall in the entrance to the Centre.

We are pleased to have received support from the following organisations and individuals.

  • The Maudsley Charity – Pears Maudsley Centre, arts strategy and glass balustrades.
  • Pears Foundation – Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People and glass balustrades.
  • The Rayne Foundation – Rayne Welcome Space.
  • Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust – Charles Wolfson Learning Zone.
  • The Wolfson Foundation – Wolfson Imaging Suite.
  • Garfield Weston Foundation – Intensive Treatment Programme, Weston Suite and glass balustrades.
  • Kuok Group – Kuok Wellbeing Terrace.
  • The Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe – The Harry M Weinrebe Observation Suites.
  • Daniel & Elizabeth Peltz – Peltz Community Hall.
  • Dove Self Esteem Project – Dove Group Therapy Room.
  • Stephen Riady Foundation – Riady Sensory Room.

Research, clinical and outreach programme

We have focused our fundraising efforts to date on the capital target for the Centre. Significant fundraising is also now underway for the research, clinical and outreach programme and we have raised £2m to date with donations from the following organisations:

  • Pears Foundation – towards an appointment in affective disorders once the Centre Director is appointed.
  • Monday Charitable Trust – for Cues-Ed digital expansion.
  • Pictet Foundation – support for DISCOVER, our mental health programme run in schools, which provides psychological support for students who are experiencing difficulties with stress, anxiety or low mood.
  • Prudence Trust – King’s is delighted to have been selected to benefit from Prudence Trust’s newly created Fellowship Scheme. Our first Prudence Trust Fellow has just joined us. She is researching ways to prevent anxiety and depression in children and young people using a personalised approach. We will be starting recruitment for a second Prudence Trust Fellow shortly.

Art supporting mental health

The Pears Maudsley Centre will be a leading example of the power of art to heal and demonstrate the value and importance of creativity in health.

The Pears Maudsley Centre made an open call for artwork made by artists local to the new building and artists nationally with lived experience of mental health conditions. The final artwork was selected by the Young People’s Art Group, which wrote the briefs for each commission; selected the artists; helped advise them on their final concepts and gave final concept approval.

The result is three beautiful pieces of art that represent the key values of the Centre − involvement of children and young people and powerful reflections of nature. These are shown below.

Marcus Coates’ visuals for the public open space

Marcus has worked with young people from The Maudsley and Bethlem School and Snowsfield Inpatient Unit to develop this commission. The image has been produced by the young people drawing images using VR to represent the young people themselves. The result will be a universal, welcoming entrance piece with themes of friendship, community, togetherness and inclusiveness. The design will be realistic, relatable and tactile and blend into the surrounding soft landscaping. It is likely to have a chocolate brown patina that improves with age. The sculpture will create an immersive, friendly, familiar image to welcome young people and their families to the Centre.

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Bethany Williams Suspended Installations in the Welcome Space

These hanging structures have been designed in conjunction with the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Bethlem Royal Hospital and will be suspended from the ceilings. Recycled fabric will be appliqued on to the banners using materials from ‘deadstock’ PPE garments with natural dyes from the Bethlem Garden, suspended by hanging structures of fallen oak and recreate the movement of a sycamore in flight.

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The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People was only made possible through the generosity of our supporter and alumni community. To find out more about how you can make a difference through donating to King's, click here.