About The Orpheus Centre

Orpheus was founded in 1998 in Godstone, Surrey, by Sir Richard Stilgoe. Orpheus started with five young people who lived on site in a residential care home, learning to cook, manage budgets. They also wrote songs, devised dances and broke down people’s preconceived ideas about disabled people whenever and wherever they performed. 

Orpheus now provides supported housing and a diverse curriculum of performing arts, independence, functional and life skills to over 40 young disabled adults every year. We have capacity for up to 30 tenants living in Orpheus supported housing. Our learning programme supports in excess of 40 students accessing on a full or part-time basis.

Orpheus is a registered charity. The funds that we receive from statutory sources cover students’ housing, education and support. We rely greatly on generous donations from individuals, trusts and corporates. Funds raised from these sources go towards bursaries for students in financial hardship and to pay for associate artists, equipment, revitalizing teaching spaces, accessible vehicles and workshops, to name a few.


Our vision is of an inclusive world where young people with disabilities, a passion for the performing arts and a desire to live and work independently can achieve their aspirations.


We use the performing arts to empower young adults with disabilities by developing communication, social interaction and other independence skills.

Our Ethos

At Orpheus we use the arts as a vehicle to promote learning and personal development. We teach a diverse curriculum that covers the arts, independence and employment skills. We offer a range of qualifications working with awarding bodies such as Ascentis, Trinity College, LAMDA and the London College of Music, as well as outreach programmes. Students learn a variety of skills, from cooking and personal finances to accessing the community and managing personal support.

We work closely with each of our students to enable them to transition successfully from full time education into adult life. We support our students to think about what kind of life they would like to have when they leave Orpheus and an important part of this process are our work experience and transition programmes. Team Teach, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and restraint are not available at Orpheus.


Our Royal Patron is HRH The Earl of Wessex KCVO.

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