Who we are
We are an independent NHS charity, we work together with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the widest range of mental health services in England and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.
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.
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 recognising 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
By 2024 we will have…
We share a goal with our partners South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, to develop an programme of research, education and clinical innovation located in a new building 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. Our ambition is that all young people enter adulthood in good mental health.
Our grants framework focus:
- Transformation – 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
- Work closely with people with experience of mental illness, carers and families.
- Build profile and advocacy levels among South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London staff.
- Increase visibility of ORTUS as a hub of Charity and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust education activity.
- Contribute to a thriving service volunteer programme.
- Build a base of support among members of the public who are interested and engaged in our work and actively donating or fundraising on our behalf.
- Extend our impact by increasing the number of partnerships we have with charitable foundations, national charities and community organisations in south London.
Develop our governance in line with the new Charity Code.
Invest in and support our staff –our aim is to retain a small, skilled and highly motivated team.
Match our investment strategy to our ambitions, by increasing the target total return from our endowment assets to CPI+4%.
Preserve the value of our endowment for future generations.
We will build the Charity’s capacity to fundraise beyond our current campaigns.
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
Collaboration Commitment to collaboration in how they design and deliver their work
Learning Commitment to learning, gathering evidence about what works (and doesn’t) and sharing this knowledge
"For us it’s important that the lessons that are learned here are captured, and can inform what is going on across the whole NHS."