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Our Capital Appeal for the Centre of Excellence

It has been estimated that 1 in 8 children in the UK has a diagnosable mental health problem.

We know that the earlier we can recognise and treat mental ill health, the better the life long outcomes will be for children and young people, yet only a quarter of children with a mental illness receive the support they need and deserve. 

There is common agreement from government, statutory services, the voluntary sector, and children and families that current services and approaches to support mental health are inadequate. This inadequacy is caused, in part, by a lack of funding but, crucially, by the fragmented way services are planned and delivered. Stakeholders all too often work independently and side line children and families, preventing progress and leaving families feeling disillusioned with the services available to them. 


What are we doing about it?

That's why we are pioneering a unique national Centre of Excellence, to be housed in a purpose built site in King's Cross, London. Due to open in 2019, the impact of this £40 million campus will be felt far beyond our organisation, through influencing policy and practice nationally and internationally and via the thousands of professionals we train. For the first time the best people and organisations in mental health, education, social care and neuroscience and, importantly, children and their families, will be brought together under one roof, transforming a fragmented sector into a coherent national learning collaboration. It will be a knowledge hub and a community, developing new treatments, interventions and approaches informed by the most recent scientific discoveries to deliver better mental health services on a local, national and international level.  


Why will a new Centre of Excellence help?

We can only deliver the step change needed by working together with other sector leaders, including UCL and Yale. This is why we are taking the important first step of developing a new Centre of Excellence that will:

  • Provide a safe environment for caregivers and children to learn more about the interventions available to them so they can make informed decisions
  • Provide a creative physical space for scientists to translate their research into practical interventions and policy advice
  • Establish a unique policy forum drawing from the voices of the researchers, clinicians and children and families who share the Centre of Excellence
  • Offer extensive training opportunities for mental health and allied professionals, reflecting the increasing demand on our training offer 
  • Provide a highly attractive environment for the delivery of a portfolio of postgraduate programmes in a lively practice based environment
  • Facilitate the development of a national multimedia science communication strategy, ensuring trusted information on child mental health is disseminated. 

The Family School

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"I can honestly say that I have seen a change in my son’s behaviour. Please don’t get me wrong in thinking my son’s journey is over, because it’s not – you can’t just undo nearly three years of bad behaviour in a few months; but I do see a huge change!” A parent at the Family School

The Family School will be at the heart of the Centre of Excellence. A specialist school where children with serious emotional and behavioural issues who have been excluded from mainstream schools attend with their families, The Family School is the first of its kind to integrate education and mental health provision.

Financing and timetable

The new Centre of Excellence will open in early 2019. We have launched a £40 million capital appeal to achieve this. We have raised £25 million to date and in 2015 we launched a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining £15 million needed to ensure this project reaches completion. See the vision taking shape.

How you can help

By making a donation to this potentially life changing project, you can make this vision a reality and help transform the future of hundreds of thousands of children and families.

If you would like to discuss how you could support this life-changing project, or would like further information please contact: Ros Bidmead, Chief Operating Officer:, 020 7443 2270.