Charity Spotlight: Anna Freud Centre

Here at Urban Partners, we’re committed to making our neighbourhood a better place to live, work and do business. We are in regular contact with a range of charities from the local area so we can better understand how our local businesses and employees can help them achieve their objectives.

We regularly spotlight a specific charity, in order to educate local employees about the work local charities carry out. This month we visited the team at the Anna Freud Centre. 


Name of Charity: Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Address: Kantor Centre of Excellence, 4-8 Rodney Street, London, N1 9JH


Overview of Anna FreudThe Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has developed and delivered pioneering mental health care for children, young people and families for over 65 years. Our aim is to transform current mental health provision in the UK by improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment. 


One in eight children and young people in England have a diagnosable mental health disorder and staggeringly 75% of all adult mental health problems start before the age of 18. To tackle this issue, we:

  • Carry out research to improve understanding of mental health and resilience and to evaluate and improve the treatments and services children and families are offered.
  • Develop approaches, tools and services that are sensitive, practical and innovativeto help transform the way we deliver care to children, young people and families in distress.
  • Train over 8000 professionals a year in the latest tools and techniques which they can apply to help children in their local area. In collaboration with UCL and Yale we also teach the next generation of talented professionals.
  • Take a leading role in the development of policy and practice in the UK and beyond to ensure that it is built on evidence and has the input of children and families.  We help organisations to think differently about mental health so that their services can go further: one of our frameworks has now been adopted by over 75 institutions providing help to over four million children and young people in England.


Success Stories 

We are new to the King’s Cross area, having recently moved into our Kantor Centre of Excellence. The Kantor Centre of Excellence brings together the best in research, policy and practice under one roof. It is a space where leaders in neuroscience, mental health, practice, social care and education work together with children and young people to improve understanding and practice. The Centre will provide training for professionals of today and postgraduate teaching for the leaders of tomorrow.

At the heart of our Centre is the Anna Freud Centre sponsored Pears Family School, a school for children who have been excluded from mainstream education. We are incredibly proud that the school received an Outstanding rating following its first Ofsted inspection and continues to be a lifeline for young people and parents like Mark:

“From the initial warm and generous greeting to the final reassuring handshakes goodbye we had a sense that (Pears Family School) was different, a sense that this school was not just about providing a facility for families who had run out of options but in fact was about acknowledging each child for who they are, caring for every one of them, and caring for the family they were a part of – the family that was suffering alongside them. 

The school helps pupils to realise that they are not the ‘naughty’ uncontrollable children they have been branded, but that they have a place in education and more importantly in society at large. It is about instilling confidence into children who have had it erased from their lives by a system that through no fault of their own they just do not fit into.

Apart from creating an amazingly caring and therapeutic environment, an environment full of adults who are dealing with our children’s issues and behaviour without judgment, Pears Family School is about embracing the family and including the parents in the child’s education. We learn to be better parents, we are given confidence and most importantly we are given optimism. After being made to feel that there is no hope we are taught to believe in ourselves again and, more importantly, to believe in our children – and that lesson is invaluable.” – Mark, whose son is a pupil at Pears Family School


Get involved!

Whether you’re an individual or represent an organisation, there are so many ways you can support us. For example, you could:

  • Mentor and share professional skills with some of the young people and families we support
  • Become a Parent or Young Champion, giving you the chance to have a say in our work
  • Assist at our training and fundraising events
  • Take part in marathons and other sport challenge events
  • Run local community/school events such as bake sales and talent shows

We would be delighted to form partnerships with local organisations. Why not nominate us as your workplace or school Charity of the Year? Or ask your workplace to match funds raised for us? We’ve worked with numerous schools and organisations – including Jo Malone London and Goldman Sachs – and can support your staff wellbeing by providing live talks and webinars in house on a wide range of topics. If you represent an organisation and are interested in partnering with us, contact our Head of Fundraising Jenny Ricketts on 020 7443 2228.


Upcoming events/ fundraisers

In July we will celebrate joining the King’s Cross community with a special launch event for partners and collaborators. The event will feature workshops and talks on some of our projects and a tour of our ground-breaking Pears Family School.

On 16th August we will also host the Summer Participation Involvement Event (aka PIE!), an event devised, designed and delivered by young people who play an active role in shaping mental health services. We would be delighted to discuss how you can get involved in the event and are welcoming sponsorship from organisations looking to support youth engagement.

If you are interested in attending or supporting either of these events, please contact our Head of Fundraising Jenny Ricketts (see above).

DonateEvery year the Anna Freud Centre’s work impacts millions of children and young people across the country. This life changing work would simply not be possible without the support of our donors.You can make a one-off donation or sign up to become a Committed Giver on our website.

Supporting children’s mental health is a life-long investment. Your support for our work will last a lifetime.


What famous quote/song/words would you used to describe your charity and why?

“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all of the time.” – A quotation from our namesake and founder Anna Freud, a pioneering expert in childhood development.