Anna Freud Centre given £2.5m boost by foundation donation

Anna Freud's planned Centre of Excellence

Anna Freud's planned Centre of Excellence - Credit: Archant

A new centre to support children with mental health issues has been given a £2.5m boost.

Trevor Pears

Trevor Pears - Credit: Nigel Sutton

The Pears Foundation has joined up with the Anna Freud Centre to support a new centre of excellence.

The foundation has donated £2.5million towards the £24m cost.

More than £15.3m is expected to be raised by selling the centre’s Maresfield Gardens base.

The remaining cash is being raised from voluntary donations.

The centre of excellence, which is to be built on a site in King’s Cross, will bring together

people and organisations in neuroscience, mental health and education with the aim of delivering better mental health services informed by the most recent scientific discoveries.

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Professor Peter Fonagy, chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre, welcomed the partnership.

He said: “Pears Foundation is a great example of a progressive partner who shares our values and passion for improving the lives of children.”

He added: “I think the Family School will become an inspiration for many years to come for those seeking new ways to improve children’s mental health.”

The Family School, at the heart of the centre of excellence will be the first institution of its

kind where mental health is incorporated in children’s education,

so as to enable students to reintegrate back into mainstream education.

At full capacity it will offer intensive, tailored psychological and educational support for up to 48 children aged

five to 14 who are at risk of permanent exclusion from mainstream school, and their families.

Trevor Pears, Executive Chair of the Pears Foundation, said: “We are really excited and proud to be working with The Anna Freud Centre. This will really boost our ongoing commitment to developing understanding of the challenges children face today and how they can be supported.”

Construction is due to start later this year with the aim of being ready for the start of the new academic year in September 2018.