Richmond Fellowship has been named the charity partner of an internationally respected dolls’ house exhibition in London to raise money and awareness for mental health support.
The Kensington Dolls’ House Exhibition, which is attended by collectors from around the world, is supporting Richmond Fellowship, the national mental health charity making recovery reality, with a charity auction and information stand.
Darlene Stevens, an organiser for the exhibition, was inspired to support Richmond Fellowship after her experience of mental health problems with her brother.
She said: “We wanted to support Richmond Fellowship, because of their work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to provide effective support to those living with mental health problems.
“I’ve been personally affected by mental health issues; my mother had Bipolar disorder and my brother John was then diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 25. The impact on my family was devastating. John was a talented photographer and classical guitarist, a profession he was never to fulfil. He felt rejected, never able to have a family and a career. He said the only people to accept him were other mental patients. If I think of him now I just cry.”
John passed away in 2013 and Darlene continues to honour his memory through supporting organisations like Richmond Fellowship who work to improve the support provided for people living with mental health problems.
Darlene has donated two dolls’ houses to be auctioned to collectors at the exhibition, including an antique piece from 1908.
She said: “The dolls’ houses are part of my collection of miniatures. I’ve always loved creating small worlds and creating the perfect home. Of the two dolls’ houses donated one is a shop made by Sue and Trevor Cooke in 1998. The other is an antique made in 1908 by Lines. It’s survived a long time.”
The pieces will be auctioned alongside a photograph donated by renowned photographer Steve Macleod, director of Metro Imaging.
Professor Macleod’s work has been displayed in public and private collections including those of the Prince of Wales. The piece, entitled Nilir, is from a series entitled AELD based on Saxon mythology and is expected to attract bids of up to £3,000.
Mr Macleod donated the piece to support the work of Richmond Fellowship and help raise awareness of mental health problems. Darlene added: “As my brother loved photography it’s quite poignant that he has a photograph donated in his memory.”
The Kensington Doll’s House Exhibition takes place on 15-16 May. For more information on the exhibition and to book your tickets, click here.