Senua’s Scholarship. @CPFT_NHS

Ninja Theory, the developers behind BAFTA-winning global gaming hit Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, has teamed up with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and its charity Head To Toe to launch Senua’s Scholarship.

The Cambridge-based company spent three years working with staff and students from CPFT’s Recovery College East to gain an understanding of mental health as the lead character Senua has experiences of psychosis.

The student awarded Senua’s Scholarship will be supported by the college team to develop their training skills and work towards a professional training qualification. The qualification will enable them to have the opportunity to develop a career in adult education.

Named after the protagonist of Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the scholarship has been formed as a result of Recovery College East’s close collaboration with Ninja Theory on their portrayal of Psychosis in Hellblade, which led in part to the game winning the 2018 BAFTA Award for Game Beyond Entertainment.

Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory commercial director (pictured above), said: “CPFT’s Recovery College East does incredible work in the mental health community and through our collaboration on Hellblade we had the privilege of learning what it can be like to live with psychosis. We’re very happy to be supporting the college in this way and look forward to meeting the very first recipient of the scholarship later this year.”

Tracey Bartlett, Recovery College East manager (also pictured above), said: “We are really excited to be launching this scholarship with Ninja Theory and cannot thank them enough for their ongoing support of our work. This scholarship is a wonderful collaboration between the college and Ninja Theory and will provide those who receive the support an opportunity to unlock their full potential and a possibility of a new career in adult education.”

Professor Paul Fletcher, CPFT honorary consultant psychiatrist and clinical lead in the game’s development team said: “It’s fantastic that Ninja Theory and the Recovery College plan to continue their association through this scholarship. Senua as a hero in the video game embodies much of what the Recovery College is about so it is especially fitting that this scholarship will provide a real person with the opportunities and support to face their own challenges.”

With bases in Cambridge and Peterborough, the Recovery College East provides a collaborative, educational learning environment and aims to convey messages of hope, empowerment and opportunity to all. It celebrates strengths and successes rather than highlighting deficits or problems.

Many of the college’s tutors have their own experience of mental health challenges.

Jen Esson, the college’s training and development co-ordinator, said: “The Recovery College offered me a sense of hope and purpose, allowing me to build an identity when I felt very lost. It gave me the confidence over time to move from being a student, to volunteering, to returning to paid employment. At the start of my journey with the college I never thought this would be possible.”

The scholarship will be open for applications from December 2018. To register an interest in applying or to find out more, contact the college on 01223 227510 or email

To find out more about how you can help support students and tutors at Recovery College East through fundraising or making a donation, please visit Head to Toe Charity’s website or call 01223 219708.

Alongside the scholarship, Ninja Theory have released a documentary film, Senua’s Psychosis, to showcase the game’s development alongside a range of promotional and educational films on Hellblade available on YouTube:

• Watch the full documentary Senua’s Psychosis
• Watch the Accolades Trailer for some of the amazing feedback and insights from the game’s fans
• Watch the game’s Development Diaries
• Watch the game’s original launch trailer