Mad Hatter’s Tea Party


When: 2.30 – 4.30pm on Saturday 29th March /Where: Friends Meeting House, St Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY.
Cost: £2 for a child, and £4 for an adult 
To get your tickets, email or just turn up on the day!

There’s an expression “as mad as a March hare”, and so it seems appropriate that Borderline chose this month to present their fund-raising pop up cafe and art installation: “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.

Borderline Arts is set up to use the arts to challenge the stigma around mental illness.  They will be drawing on actors from their associated theatre group “The Raving Mad Theatre Company” to populate a lively Alice in Wonderland themed tea party which will serve tea and games to the public.

Sarah Eley, the woman behind Borderline Arts, who is herself a long term sufferer of borderline personality disorder, says, “What we aim to do through our work is show that just because a person has a mental health diagnosis it doesn’t mean that they are completely different to everyone else.  We want people to understand the ordinary beautiful everyday lives that are still lived by sufferers alongside their illness.  It is why we are a little irreverent about the whole idea of madness, we like to play with it to show that being around people who suffer mental illness doesn’t have to be serious, it can be easy to have fun.”

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party promises Flamingo Croquet with the Red Queen, a treasure hunt to find the Door Mouse, giant flowers and toadstools, a miniature house for an overgrown Alice,  Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum carnival cutlets as well as a craft table, Wonderland props and a photo booth.  Not to mention tea with the Mad Hatter,  the Red Queen, the White Rabbit and of course Alice herself.  It sounds like a tea party you wouldn’t want to miss!

What is BPD?
BPD is a severe and complex mental health condition, which largely misunderstood and stigmatised. Amongst many other things, BPD often prevents the sufferer from working and from have stable relationships, due to the intense mood swings, chaotic thinking and destructive coping mechanisms. Although the behaviour is often seen as ‘attention seeking’, their maladaptive behaviour is actually due to their inability to manage and express feelings in a healthy way.

Is BPD Treatable?
BPD can be treated! Many people with BPD who receive appropriate treatment are able to learn to manage their emotions is a constructive way and are able to lead a productive, healthy and happy life, and often get back into employment. However, despite this, and despite the fact that 1 in 10 people with the condition commit suicide if it is left untreated, there is currently no appropriate support for those with BPD in Derby. On top of that, given the  recent extensive mental health cuts in the NHS, even the little general support that there is for those with BPD and other mental health issues is being decreased. It is inevitable that this will lead to decline in people’s mental health and even an increase in fatalities.

How is a Tea Party Improving this Situation?
The proceeds of the tea party are going to go towards the funding Borderline needs to put on a national exhibition tour of artwork created by artists who have BPD. On the tour there will also be creative workshops for the public and theatre performances. The purpose of the tour is to:
– Raise awareness of and reduce stigma surrounding BPD
– Improve relationships/understanding/communication between sufferers and carers/family members/professionals etc
– Highlight the need for appropriate BPD services in Derby and across the country
– Nurture artists with BPD, give them platform to exhibit and develop as artists and to find an artistic identity and a voice through their art as they are often isolated and do not have to confidence to do this.

To do all this, we need money, so we are holding this very exciting fundraiser to help get all this started! If you are able too come along or support us in anyway, you really would be making a difference to the lives of people with BPD as well as their families and carers. Not to mention you will have a splendid time!

How do I find out more?
Anyone interested in getting involved or in coming along should contact  For more information about Borderline, please visit Click on ‘Latest News’ for more information about this event.

We look forward to seeing you at at The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on 29th March at 2.30pm! Don’t be late for this very important date!