Orpheus Centre

In the mid-1990s, musician and song-writer Sir Richard Stilgoe and neurologist Dr Michael Swallow started piloting music weeks for disabled people. These were so effective that Sir Richard decided to start a place where disabled people and students could work together for longer than a week – to change their own and other people’s lives by creating new music and performing in public. Orpheus opened in 1998 at Sir Richard Stilgoe’s former family home in Godstone, Surrey.



  • A holistic learning programme
  • A supported housing scheme
  • A domiciliary care and support service

Our students are between the ages of 18 and 25 and have learning and/or physical impairments. They usually stay at Orpheus for three years. We have over 25 residential students and around 25 day students learning practical skills such as budgeting and computer literacy alongside song-writing and performing.

Helen Drum

Over the past sixteen years Orpheus has transformed the lives of hundreds of young people and their families. Our students have performed at venues all over the country including the Paralympics, Buckingham Palace and Glastonbury. Our goal is to give young disabled people the skills and opportunities they need so that they can lead fulfilling and independent lives.


NancyNancy joined us three years ago at Orpheus and has been living independently in a supported living flat on site. She came to us as a very shy individual but has made some good friends and blossomed into a confident and outgoing young lady. She also takes an active part in the local community through her work placements at St Catherine’s School in Bletchingley (assisting in the Reception Class with the small children) and also joining the team of volunteers at the YMCA on Saturdays to provide respite for 5-11 year olds. This year she has achieved her full Award in City and Guilds Employability and Personal Development Entry Level 3 and her Bronze Arts Award. Having decided not to move too far away, she has chosen a supported housing shared accommodation in Merstham. She will be able to continue her current work placements and enjoy attending the Oxted Youth drama club of which she has been a member for a year.


Your support is vital, whether it is supporting a fundraising event, choosing us your charity , taking part in a challenge event or supporting one of our performances. You can really make a difference. Find out more about our forth coming events. http://www.orpheus.org.uk/events

For more information on Orpheus contact us on 01883 744664 or email at

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