The International Health Partnership (‘the Link’) between the East London NHS Foundation Trust and Butabika Hospital in Uganda was set up in 2005. It has facilitated staff exchanges and set up many workstreams (e.g. in child and adolescent psychiatry, nursing and psychology) and projects (e.g. a peer support worker project and a violence reduction programme). The Link has been collaborative and mutually beneficial. The authors describe benefits and challenges at individual and organisational levels. Notably, the Link has achieved a commitment to service user involvement and an increasingly central involvement of the Ugandan diaspora working in mental health in the UK.