King’s College London: Milestone for Pears Maudsley Centre

The Topping Out ceremony marks a significant milestone in the building of the £65 million Pears Maudsley Centre which will transform young people’s mental health.

The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People reached a significant milestone today, with a celebratory ‘Topping Out’ ceremony attended by young people who helped design the building, local people and dignitaries.

Today’s event marks the completion of the construction of the frame of the £65 million building, partly funded by an ambitious fundraising campaign to address the urgent demands for an increased need in mental health provision for children and young people. It is being built by Integrated Health Projects, an alliance between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine.

There is no other Centre like this in the world. Bringing together King’s College London’s world class researchers in mental health with clinical expertise, will enable us to find solutions together and change the landscape for children’s mental health.
– Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King’s College London
Professor Shitij Kapur went on to say: “This will benefit our communities locally and nationally and lead to sharing best practice across the world, influencing global policy and mental health outcomes.

“It is this spirit of collaboration, innovation and creativity that will drive the culture at the Pears Maudsley Centre.”

The event included ceremonial pouring of concrete to complete the roof of the eight-storey building and the placement of an evergreen bough – a tradition which dates back to Roman times when tree boughs were used to protect buildings from evil spirits and bring in blessings from the tree spirits.

Young people who helped design the Centre attended the ceremony. Jasmin contributed to the ceremonial pouring of concrete with Works Manager, Ed Tidmarsh.
“It is fantastic to see this unique building taking shape, giving an insight into the life-changing facility it is going to become. “The centre will support our local south London community, which has some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, together with specialist national children’s mental health services that are available to everyone in England.
– Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
David Bradley, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “After so many years of hard work, it is incredibly exciting to see the Pears Maudsley Centre coming to fruition.

“This project is rooted in partnership and collaboration and the Centre will enable us to develop ground-breaking treatments that will transform the lives of children and young people at a time when improving their mental health has never been more important.”

Rebecca Gray, Chief Executive Officer of the Maudsley Charity, said: “Today’s ceremony is another significant milestone for The Pears Maudsley Centre and the partnership behind this innovative development.

“But this is more than just a building. With support from philanthropists and the public we can improve mental health outcomes now and for the future. Our commitment is that we can ‘Change The Story’ on children’s mental health – and the Centre is the physical embodiment of that vision.”

The guests were lead to the ceremony by a piper to honour McAlpine’s Scottish heritage.
The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People
Pears Maudsley Centre building works.
The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People is due to open in Denmark Hill in 2023. The Centre is the result of a “bench to bedside” partnership between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s and the Maudsley Charity, which aims to transform child and adolescent mental health care through a unique collaboration between world-leading academics and clinicians, which will significantly speed up the time taken to bring research breakthroughs into clinical treatment.

The Centre will be home to clinicians and academics in the field of children and young people’s mental health from the Trust and the IoPPN, as well as the outstanding Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School and young in-patients.

It will provide treatment to young people with a range of conditions, from eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder, to anxiety, ADHD, autism and trauma.