Centrepieces exists to promote mental health recovery through the arts, providing opportunities for people to participate in art activities and to exhibit and sell their work. It also tries to promote a better understanding of mental health to the wider public.
Our mission statement is:
To help adults within the local community who have mental health issues to improve their well-being and achieve better social inclusion through art.
Centrepieces was founded in 1999 after an explosion of enthusiasm and creativity amongst a group of artists, all of whom were experiencing mental health problems and living in the London Borough of Bexley and surrounding areas. After successfully applying for a £5,000 National Lottery Millennium Award, Centrepieces was for many years based at and supported by the Crayford Centre, a local authority and NHS mental health service. In June 2014 Centrepieces moved to new premises at The Lodge in the tranquil grounds of Hall Place House and Gardens, with financial assistance from Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. Another major breakthrough occurred in August 2019 when Centrepieces took over a large empty shop space (now called the Pop Up Studios) in Bexleyheath Broadway, which has enabled us to create studio spaces for over 20 Centrepieces artists and a gallery for showing artists’ work. This space is also used as an additional venue for art workshops, and is open to the public, which helps enormously to increase interest in Centrepieces and in mental health awareness generally.
Centrepieces is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registered with the Charity Commission. You can read our Constitution here.
Centrepieces’ Board of Trustees makes decisions about strategies and the development of the project, and also helps with fundraising. Many trustees also lend a hand in a practical way with the activities of the organisation.
Centrepieces is currently run by a team of around 30 committed volunteers, who help provide art activities as well as admin, financial and other support.
The Project Co-ordinator is Geoff Norris, who is responsible for the day to day running of the charity. Geoff is a trained Social Worker and Counsellor, who for many years worked in the fields of mental health and substance abuse. He helped nurture and oversee the development of Centrepieces from its beginnings in 1999 up until the present time at The Lodge. Geoff’s deputy is Karen Larkin.
We work closely with other local organisations, including:
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
Hall Place House and Gardens
London Borough of Bexley
Bexley Voluntary Service Council