FWP’s inspiring home for child and adolescent mental health services wins national recognition

An inspiring new home for child and adolescent mental health services delivered by FWP Ltd has been recognised by the judges of a prestigious international design award.

The leading architecture, design and masterplanning practice led on the CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service) project in Stockport, which has seen almost £1.4m invested in developing a safe clinical space.

The development has been ‘highly commended’ in the Design in Mental Health award for ‘Project of the Year – Refurbishment’.

It marks an impressive ‘double’ for FWP. Last year the £9.4m Wesham Rehabilitation Centre project delivered by the firm for Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust was named winner in the same category.

The Design in Mental Health Network awards recognise excellence and innovation in mental health environments that improve patient recovery. This year’s finalists included projects from the UK and North America.

The judging committee comprises a panel of experts and community peers who have extensive experience within the NHS and private sector.

The CAMHS facility was created in Stopford House in the centre of Stockport and is part of a wider refurbishment of the building.

FWP’s specialist mental health team delivered the project for Stockport Council and worked closely with Pennine Care NHS Trust, who provide the CAMHS service and deliver a range of services in areas that include neurodiversity and autism.

The new facility is also helping children on their journey to recovery and support from numerous mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, self-harm, ADHD and ASD.

As well as input from the clinical team, ideas and thoughts were gathered from young people and their families about the layout and interior design. The result is a modern and bright new location that includes 18 themed rooms used for treatment and support.

There is also a reception area far detached from the typical CAMHS or hospital environment, open plan office areas to enable collaborative working and meeting spaces to accommodate the future way of working and holding consultations.

Each therapy room has a unique design on the walls, chosen by the children the service supports, with themes including waterfalls, Dr Who, orangutans, space, elephants, music and mountains. There’s also a large tropical island-themed room for art and group therapy.

A 75-strong team is now based at Stopford House from the CAMHS and other associated services. They include adolescent psychiatrists, mental health practitioners, clinical phycologists, child psychotherapists and administrative support workers.

David Simmons, FWP senior associate, said: “We are all very proud to have had our work recognised once again by the judges of this prestigious design award.

“Our approach in this project was to create a journey from start to finish for the service user that is modern, exciting, that feels grown up but is also suited to younger children too.

“Each room for therapy was themed through service user workshops. Themes were chosen by the children and one room was even created by a service user applying their amazing artwork to a full digital image wall.

“We worked very closely with both staff and service users who gave their input, advice and ideas throughout the design process, to ensure we were providing a facility catering for their exact needs.

“The highly commended award is testament to all the hard work the clinical, estates and our own FWP team have dedicated to this project. There were so many elements that had to work together, every detail was important.”