for Arts
& Culture
Combined Arts | London

Core Arts

Core Arts is a leading mental health creative education centre based in London, providing best practice and best value in mental health care in London.

Core Arts promotes positive mental health and wellbeing through a college-like environment of creative learning. Providing quality education, training, employment and social enterprise initiatives that enable people who experience mental health issues to overcome barriers, fulfil their potential and participate fully in their community.

Core Arts

Core Arts

Core Arts

Core Arts

Target Beneficiaries

Core Arts is open to the whole community whilst targeting disabled, BAME adults and young people, and women with mental health problems – reaching those who face the toughest barriers.

Core Arts is open all year for referrals for over 18’s experiencing and managing mental health issues.

Core Arts’ mission is to support and promote recovery, social inclusion and mental wellbeing through the arts and enhance service user experience. They are well-known as an innovative leader in mental health creativity, cultural diversity and social enterprise. With no analytical or clinical agenda, the expansive programme and member led ethos focuses on what people can achieve, supporting them to increase their capacity for innovation and learning, problem solving, confidence and leadership skills.

Outcomes for members:

  • Connecting with others
  • Peer support and mentoring
  • Skill development/access to learning
  • Self-esteem building
  • Development of artist identity (changing the label)
  • Bridging opportunities, greater lived experience
  • Being active & structured activities
  • Education and progression routes/achievements
  • Non clinical environment in preparation for mainstream opportunities
  • Keeping safe/risk management/well-being
  • Better sense of support and options to seek help
  • Access when on the wards
  • Quality of life and impact of environment and spaces


The four main pillars of provision are a very extensive arts programme, a sports programme, a design programme and a landscaping/ horticulture project. Run by professional artists, writers and musicians in their own right, some of whom have been through the psychiatric system themselves, Core Arts creates a genuine, exciting atmosphere of mutual learning and shared experience.

Core Arts runs a full timetable of Covid-secure, in-person creative courses at their centre and online zoom courses ideal for those that are self-isolating or prefer distance learning. The established and practicing tutors offer education and inspiration in the creative arts with effective individual guidance and support in personalised progression and skills development.

Core Arts runs an extensive events program of over 40 live events per year, both face to face and streamed online to include all in the community, showcasing the creative talents of their clients. They have a 300 capacity fully licensed hall and a fully licensed bar, providing high quality entertainment in the arts to promote positive mental health to enhance connections for those adults suffering isolation and social exclusion.


Core Arts

A year on year increase of people wanting to attend Core Arts speaks for itself. The organisation regularly engages in open dialogue, and their methods have influenced many others, including statutory services, to improve the potential for equality and lasting change for people who are generally regarded as having little to offer society.

2016/17 figures





Proven reduction in re-admissions and supporting people to avoid relapse and work towards discharge from CPA (approximately 20% reduce to outpatient only during the funded period)



In Numbers:






Over the funded period 2014-17 Core Arts has supported the reduction in admissions for patients with high risk of relapse.

The Core Arts / ELFT partnership service (Recovery Alliance) and referral pathway is effective and valued by clinicians and members, achieving a reduction in NHS usage and providing early intervention to patients at high risk of relapse.

Core Arts have achieved KPI’s and over-performed on capacity and reach of delivery. Their successful separate fundraising streams have enabled the service to respond to and deliver against suitable NHS crisis pathway referrals despite contract capacity.

Core Arts’ award-winning Sport Department has been excellent in bridging the gap of mental health and physical activity, working in partnership with ELFT and the CCG and winning the HSJ awards for sports and inclusion for the last two years.

View Full Report


NHS Trusts, local authority, ACE, National Lottery Community Fund, Comic Relief, plus Trusts and Foundations such as the City Bridge Trust, Esmee Fairbairn and others