Richmond Fellowship is a mental health charity founded in 1959 by Elly Jansen, a Dutch theology student, who bought a house in Richmond, London, and invited patients from the local psychiatric hospital to live with her. She ran the house based on the ethos of a therapeutic community, with the aim of reintegrating people back into the local community despite long periods of time in hospital.
Since then, the charity has grown and now has over 100 projects in UK. Richmond Fellowship works mainly with people experiencing mental health issues, but there are also some specialist services that also cater for people with drug/alcohol/sexual abuse issues. In 2006 the fellowship merged with its employment support and training subsidiary, to provide more integrated services.
The chief executive since 2001 (and in other roles with RF since 1992) is Maggie Hysel, who originally trained as a social worker and worked with families where she became interested in mental health, and then worked in the voluntary sector before moving into management.
Richmond Fellowship is almost entirely funded by government through schemes such as Supporting People. The group reported an income for 2008/9 of over £32 million, mainly for its supported housing projects.
In 2009 the charity hired PR company Firesong Consulting to carry out a rebranding, including a new website and a new logo - "a red 'dude' standing with his arms raised and emanating sparks" - designed to reflect the charity's strapline, "Making Recovery Reality", which was introduced in 2006.