Our history

At Richmond Fellowship we’re proud to have been making recovery reality for over 60 years.

We’ve come a long way since those early days when we set up with one therapeutic community in Richmond, Surrey. We’re now one of the largest voluntary sector providers of mental health support services in England.

Richmond Fellowship is part of Recovery Focus, a group of expert charities built to Inspire Recovery Together.

By bringing together partners with strong individual services, innovative approaches, and flexible local presence, the group draws on a wide range of expertise from around the UK. It makes this a reality not just at the local level but at the personal level too.

The Recovery Focus group has a track record of more than 200 years of developing and running personalised services that work with people who’ve experienced mental ill health, substance misuse, domestic violence and other complex needs to achieve their ambitions.

Each partner organisation has its own rich history of success but together the group believes it can lead the way in evidence-based recovery pathways that it can tailor to meet local and individual needs.


We added more divisions to Richmond Fellowship to expand our work and range of expertise.

In 2011, 2Care, a voluntary sector provider of mental health rehabilitation and recovery specialising in supporting  people with high and complex needs, joined Richmond Fellowship.

In 2014, Richmond Fellowship joined Recovery Focus. A group of charities with the shared aim of Inspiring Recovery Together.

In 2015, our partner My Time, became a fully integrated division of Richmond Fellowship. It’s an award-winning, pioneering and innovative service user led multi-lingual community mental health service provider working in the Midlands

In 2016, our Cumbrian-based partner Croftlands Trust also became a fully integrated part of Richmond Fellowship.

In 2018, the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) became a fully integrated division of Richmond Fellowship. DVIP is a domestic violence charity which supports victims of domestic violence as well as running perpetrator programmes to change violent individuals’ behaviour.


We began to implement the ten year National Service Framework for Mental Health.

In 2003 Richmond Fellowship Workschemes became Richmond Fellowship Employment & Training (RFET) and successfully delivered ‘New Deal for Disabled People’ while our floating support schemes were expanded by more than 300 places nationally. We also influenced the report of Government’s Social Exclusion Unit.

In 2005 the Cross Links Service, based on social inclusion and combining community and employment support, opened in Knowsley and RFET pioneered Job Retention programmes.

In 2006 we adopted a new strapline, ‘Making Recovery Reality’, to reassert our core founding values.

In 2007 Richmond Fellowship and RFET merged, consolidating the organisation’s position as a leading provider of specialist mental health services in England.


We played a significant role in ground-breaking hospital re-provision, providing new homes in the community for people across England.

Another ‘first’, we set up Richmond Fellowship Workschemes in 1984, followed by day centres and workshops in 1986.


We responded to the growing community care agenda with a widespread programme of development; self contained flats, floating support and 24 hour nursed care.

Our Richmond Fellowship Workschemes pioneered the QEST model of support into mainstream employment, and in 1998 we achieved Investors in People status.


Richmond Fellowship was founded in 1959. A core founding belief in the concept of recovery has been the guiding light throughout our journey to the present day.


We pushed the boundaries further, adopting the therapeutic community model in a more formal manner.

In 1973 Princess Alexandra became our Patron and in 1976 we became a registered housing association.