E.T.A.T (Encouragement Through the Arts and Talking) is a community based charity which brings together lonely and isolated people for arts and crafts activities.

E.T.A.T was the brainchild of Dr Mary Catterall, a senior doctor and gifted sculptor, whose vision it was to set up a group for isolated lonely people who would be encouraged to be creative and share skills.

E.T.A.T. sits at the heart of the community and provides a family environment not only for its members but for the wider community by putting on regular events and by joint working with other local organisations such as the Tate Britain and the Abbey Centre. The groups through the Encouragers, aim to relieve isolation and stimulate new ideas by participating in art, purposeful reading and listening and expressing their views of the individual on these and on sculpture.

Activities are run by “Encouragers”, most of whom are volunteers, and the beneficiaries are known as “Friends” our Friends come from at least seven local housing estates that are amongst the most diverse and underprivileged in London.

Our Friends are men and women of all ages from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds. Some have physical or mental health problems, including disabilities, and some are wheelchair users. All have been suffering from loneliness and isolation.

We offer a warm and welcoming place to go, with a shared meal and a range of arts and social activities on offer.

Through the encouraging, supportive atmosphere at E.T.A.T, Friends find that their wellbeing is improved in a range of ways through meeting others, sharing their feelings and memories, learning new skills and experiencing pride in producing arts and craft items.


Dr Mary Catterall (12th July 1922 to 4th October 2015)


Dr Mary Catterall believed that “Many people live cut off from human contact and lead isolated lives, deprived of their human gift – speech and the other exclusively human gift is creativity – the visual arts, music, reading and writing”.

After forty years of working in NHS Hospitals as a physiotherapist, medical student, doctor and consultant, Dr Catterall believed that the most enduring medicine is encouragement and this is why she set up E.T.A.T.

More about Dr Mary Catterall