Mental health services

The Sunshine Recovery Café, Commissioned by the local Clinical Commissioning Group Through SWLSTG



Within its Urgent Care Pathway Transformation Programme, Merton, Wandsworth, Kingston, Richmond and Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (‘the Trust’) wanted to better support people who perceive themselves in a mental health crisis in community settings, and offer constructive alternatives to presenting at A&E or admission to hospital. The CCG, through SWLSTG, commissioned the Sunshine Recovery Cafe, run by CDARS to offer a non-clinical but recovery-focused intervention by peers. The service was to provide an accessible, non-stigmatising and recovery focused service to sit alongside the clinical services offered by the Trust. The Sunshine Recovery, located within CDARS’ premises in Wimbledon Chase, opened to the community in April 2017. The café is located off the main high street in a discreet courtyard, but easily accessible by public transport.


What We Aim to Achieve

The Sunshine Recovery Café was set up to support people in a mental health crisis and help them discuss the nature of the crisis they are experiencing, their strengths and the coping skills they might use to decrease their distress and promote their wellbeing. Within a safe and secure environment, the service aims to support customers through a range of support and leisure opportunities:

  • A welcoming environment – particularly for first-time customers
  • Emotional support and resilience building
  • Peer-led support
  • A range of recreational and leisure activities
  • Access to a range of non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks, hot and cold snacks and/or hot food
  • Access to local resource directories and advice/signposting to access services
  • Risk assessment/management and active liaison with statutory services, particularly Home Treatment Teams, when clinical risk requires
  • Opportunities for customers who use the Service to graduate into volunteer and paid roles.

The Service is open from 18.00-23.00 (Monday-Friday) and 12.00-23.00 (weekends and bank holidays). It is open every day of the year.


What We Offer

The Services provided within the café are:


Activities Provided

Alongside with the following activities:


Impact of The Service

An impact report that we have performed at the end of year 2019, shows that:


Also, the report shows that up to 41% of our service users, would have attended A&E had they not attended the Sunshine Recovery Café.


Who can Access the Programme

The Café is open to adults who perceive themselves to be in, or at risk of moving into mental health crisis (self-defined).  Customers can self-refer provided they meet the following criteria:

Adult (18 years +) residents of the 5 Boroughs covered in South West London
People who perceive themselves in mental health crisis, or at risk of moving into mental health crisis.


How can the programme be accessed

We maintain a very simple referrals process. While any professional can contact CDARS for a referral, anyone who feels at risk can call the service via:

Email at:

Or to speak directly to the staff of the Recovery Cafe, or leave a message at:

Telephone: 07908 436617


A Case Study  -  PS Story

“I would like to thank the support of the Sunshine Recovery Cafe for the support and assistance they are providing me through my mental health issues. I currently suffer from anxiety and stress-related issues after a damaging divorce and losing my home.

Joe, one of the support team experts has assisted with my rehabilitation back into society. Joe has guided me through depression and the loneliness that caused me to suffer a mental breakdown. With the program they provide at the café and the social aspect, it has built my confidence and I have achieved getting a respectful job at B & Q. 

Nikki one of the team performs a vital course on a Monday called ‘’ Goal Setting’’. I would recommend this as this provided guidance and gave direction to my collapsed situation. I am not perfect yet but without Sunshine Cafe and the amazing people who work here I would be in a very bad place or possibly not here at all. Thank You.”



Other Feedback from customers include:

"Before I came, I was quite down, but coming here the staff were helpful and so my mood soon picked up. Had I not come here I would have been calling the Samaritans helpline.”

“Before coming here my mood was very low but coming here, I found the atmosphere and staff very helpful and so my mood soon picked up. The Recovery Café is an essential to the community.”

"The Sunshine café is fantastic , helped me loads"

"Five hours at hospital and came to cafe to relax and chill"

"The cafe has saved my life and stops and prevents crisis from being worse"


Funded by Clinical Commissioning Group

Through South West London and St George’s Trust