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The Winnicott Centre – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

A collaborative art + design scheme that supports mental health services for children + young people

The Winnicott Centre is a multi-disciplinary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for Central Manchester, based at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s, Oxford Road Campus. Over 900 children and young people use the service each year and receive support from a team of nurses, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists.

Following the building’s refurbishment in 2017 staff informed Lime that the reception area, corridor, and treatment rooms felt stark, clinical and unwelcoming. Working closely with CAMHS service users, their families and specialised staff, Lime transformed the centre into a welcoming and reassuring space, producing and installing high-quality, imaginative artworks appropriate for a mental healthcare setting.

Lead artist Sarah Whitfield co-created wall based artworks with young people, taking inspiration from themes exploring ‘safe spaces’ and relaxation, using place and memory to create imaginary landscapes. Located in the main waiting area and consultation rooms Sarah’s whimsical landscapes evoke curiosity and emphasize a feeling of light and calm open space. Alex Godwin’s bold, brightly coloured hand painted artworks located at the entrance and throughout the centre are inspired by workshops where the artist encouraged young people and staff to see the ‘magic in the mundane’, using photos and images of everyday objects and places. Handmade bespoke light boxes designed by artist and designer David Boultbee aid wayfinding and are installed in connecting corridors that lead to treatment rooms. Changing exhibitions of service user artworks are also on display throughout the centre.

“As a young person, seeing the difference that has been made as a result of the artwork was incredible. It is often underestimated what a positive difference art can make!”

Patient, CAMHS