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Our strategy

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We are ‘Backing Better Mental Health’ by funding the ideas that will make a difference. Our Strategy details our plans and ambitions from 2019 - 2024 and beyond.

Our mission

Henry Maudsley believed that by bringing together clinicians, researchers and educators, our ability to understand and treat mental illness could be transformed. We represent a modern version of that vision in charitable form.

We fund and support the collaboration of experts – clinicians, researchers and people who have lived experience of mental illness – to make a positive impact in mental health.

How we operate

We give grants, funded from our endowment and donations, which range from multi-million pound clinical and research initiatives intended to drive change across the UK, to small scale projects supporting people who experience mental illness in south London.

We balance short and long-term goals. We want to make an immediate difference to lives and fund ideas which will have an impact on future generations.

What characterises the Maudsley Charity?

Our strategy reflects on what makes the Charity distinct. It looks at the things that help us define clearly who we are and what we want to achieve.

Our partnerships

Our ability to accelerate change by supporting collaboration in a centre of internationally recognised expertise. We work closely with South London & Maudsley NHS foundation trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.​

Our place

We are located in an area with a highly diverse population and some of the highest levels of serious mental illness in Europe. By investing in understanding what works here we can contribute to improved mental health for everyone.

Our history

We have existed in some form for more than 750 years. We play a role in protecting and ensuring access to important collections of historic documents and artefacts related to mental health. In doing so we contribute to reduced stigma and ensure that the future of mental health can be informed by the lessons of the past.

We are focused on solutions

The challenges of mental ill health are enormous and complex but we are driven by the belief that these are surmountable and recovery is possible. We are committed to the spread and scale of ’what works’ beyond the projects we have funded.

We take a holistic view of mental health

We recognise the interaction between mental and physical health, the impact of our environment and experiences on mental health, and the benefits of engagement with the arts.

We focus on mental illness

We champion mental well-being for all, but have a specific focus in our work on the needs and ​ challenges of those who have experienced, or who are most at risk of experiencing, mental illness​.

Our current priorities

We have developed a great deal over the last two years and have focussed the last six months on planning for the future. The big themes that have arisen from that work and will be reflected in a refined strategy are:

Our intention to focus a large proportion of our funding in two areas where we think we can make significant impact (these themes will be announced late 2021).

Reflecting in all our work, and in the way we work, our commitment to equality and inclusion - being intentional in our focus on how discrimination and exclusion impact mental health and our ability to achieve change.

Establishing ourselves more fully as an NHS charity working in partnership with and in support of the work of South London and Maudlsey NHS Foundation Trust.

Developing a medium to long term strategy for fundraising to enhance our funded programmes and to build our community of support.

Our grants framework

Our grants framework has focused on a range of sizes of funding (below) – and you would join our team as we go into a next phase of development, funding programmes and support. 

This will include introducing new themes and a range of funding programmes for significant investment over the next five years. We will also place increased focus on our role as a convenor of networks and an influencer/platform for change:


Large scale projects, with long term impact, maximising the power of collaboration.

Anchor programmes

Achieve positive impact, root us in our communities and our history, provide visibility and connection between the Charity, and our partner organisations.

Innovation and Improvement

Accelerate change by funding in mid/large scale initiatives.

Community and Connection

Provide small grants for initiatives to support those who have been most unwell and/or are most disadvantaged.

Each of our four funding streams will have distinct purposes and criteria but all our grants hold some criteria in common:

Positive impact



The potential to make a positive impact on the lives of people who experience mental illness.

Commitment to collaboration in how they design and deliver their work​.

Commitment to learning, gathering evidence about what works (and doesn’t) and sharing this knowledge​.

To learn more about our work by grants programmes follow this link: Our work

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