Friends of Cathja is a registered charity that provides a unique service to people suffering from enduring mental health problems.
We are a local charity working for and managed by people from the London Borough of Hounslow and neighbouring areas. Our impact has been far broader than the area served and the charity has attracted national and international attention.
The Cathja is a fully converted and fully mobile 38 metre Dutch Barge. Situated on an idyllic Thames mooring in Old Isleworth, the barge provides space for people who have experienced mental health problems to explore their creativity in a safe and supported environment.
Users determine their own frequency and duration of their involvement. There is no expectation to ‘produce’ so objects created are not judged, analysed or sold. The creation of objects, whether utilitarian or ‘artistic’, is an inherently healing and restorative process.
The Cathja service has achieved outstanding results in enabling people to grow away from the dependent, patient role.
Funding is gained from a variety of sources and there is a constant need for support in order that the service can thrive and grow.