History of the Breslaff Centre

The Breslaff Centre is a registered charity (Reg. Charity No. 295666), governed by its constitution and Articles of Association;

‘The Company was established

  • to relieve and rehabilitate those who are suffering from mental illness or who are at risk of so suffering and to relieve children who are or may be at risk of ill-treatment or neglect by their parents or others and​
  • to advance the education of the public with a view to developing personal responsibilities, enriching family life, enhancing personal relationships and preventing or alleviating the breakdown of marriage and family and/or social relationships.’

The Centre began functioning as a residential family unit on 3rd January 1989, undertaking assessments and therapeutic work with families referred by Local Authorities and/or by the Courts, so as to determine 'the best interest of the child.' Factors in the family's life determining the request for a placement encompassed a range of concerns, including known or suspected sexual and physical abuse, issues of alcohol and/or drug dependency, mental health concerns, and certain debilitating consequences often arising from a situation of poverty and neglect.

Since its inception the Centre has been guided by its Memorandum of Association and is governed by a Management Committee to oversee its functioning and development. 

From the outset the Centre operated from its main premises at 119 Lansdowne Way, Stockwell and other premises acquired over time and so remained until relocating to smaller premises at 263 Northborough Rd, Streatham, London, SW16 4TR in 2014.

Throughout its many years of existence families from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and set-ups came and lived at the Centre for a minimum of 13 weeks.

The Centre retained the loyalty and commitment of its core staff for almost the entirety of its functioning and likewise of its Management Committee members. The Centre's founder and director Mr Gwyn Williams has also remained in post, thus providing valuable continuity of purpose’.

Throughout these years, the Breslaff Centre also undertook other projects, responding to emerging needs in the UK and abroad. As such, it established projects in Poland, from 1993 - 1996 and again in 1999 – 2000, working with conflict-fleeing refugees.

Amongst other activities the Breslaff Centre also established and ran a contact centre in one its buildings to offer a much-needed venue for parents to have supervised contact sessions with their children. For many years the Senior staff furthermore supervised social work students on placements at the Centre.

As the Centre's functioning was dependent on fees provided by Local Authorities, the impact of the government-dictated austerity measures in 2010 led to a significant reduction in the referral rate and consequent impact upon the Centre's overall financial viability.

In an effort to endure, the Centre relocated to the smaller premises in 2014 and continued to function for a further two years. However, the continued financial restraint led to a much-regretted but inevitable decision to terminate the functioning as a residential unit.

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The Breslaff Centre 1989 - 2014

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The Breslaff Centre 2014 - Present

About Us

The Current Breslaff

The Centre's re-appraised activities are fundamentally as a grant-making trust to projects in the UK and abroad with a subsidiary interest in creative, academic and/or research work on issues pertinent and related to its grant-making activity.

As of 2016 the Breslaff Centre Charity has made donations to a number of different organisations, working with victims of war, torture, sexual abuse of minors and general consequences of poverty and disenfranchisement.