Human Henge wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Today, The Restoration Trust has received £53,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Human Henge, a partnership with English Heritage, Richmond Fellowship and Bournemouth University supported by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. The project is also part funded by Wiltshire Council Amesbury Area Board (£2,224) and English Heritage (£3,000).

website-banner_banner-website Based at Stonehenge, Human Henge engages disadvantaged people livin in Wiltshire in a therapeutic sensory experience of the World Heritage Site. Over ten weekly three-hour sessions two groups walk the landscape with archaeologist Professor Timothy Darvill OBE and other experts. Their journey ends with a ceremony inside the Stone Circle, near the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, collaborating with musician Chartwell Dutiro. Drawing on recent ideas that Stonehenge was a place of healing, as they walk in the steps of others before them our participants contribute a new layer to the multiple understandings of this enigma. Human ends in June 2018. It includes exhibitions, conferences and research examining whether a creative exploration of historic landscapes achieves sustained measurable health and wellbeing outcomes for people with mental health conditions.

Human Henge enables 32 local people living on low income with mental health problems plus carers and volunteers to experience Stonehenge with expert guidance. They create an epic poem and ceremony that affirms the abiding connection between people, place and the past. Exhibitions at Amesbury Library, Salisbury Museum Festival of Archaeology and Bournemouth University, and proposed presentations at Theoretical Archaeology Group conference 2017, Culture, Health and Wellbeing international conference 2017 and an international Archaeology and Wellbeing conference 2018 share learning with the public and professionals. A website and social media link to partners’ websites, reaching a wide audience. Interdisciplinary evaluation and research evidences this pilot project’s heritage, community and health outcomes.


Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world and, with its associated landscape and related monuments, demonstrates Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial practices between 3,700 and1,600 BC. Stonehenge and its landscape are precious to visitors from around the world (more than 1,350,000 p.a.); to scholars as a unique and still incompletely understood site; and to people seeking inspiration as an ancient and magnificent ceremonial centre and burial place. Stonehenge and 6,500 acres of surrounding landscape are inscribed as a World Heritage Site (WHS). The Stone Circle and most monuments within the landscape are Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Parts of the landscape are Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The WHS includes parts of Amesbury and Larkhill, plus several villages. Two output areas in the Amesbury Community Area are amongst the 30% most deprived in England. Amesbury East is the most deprived OA in Wiltshire. Rural deprivation in the area contributes to isolation and poor mental health.

Commenting on the award, Laura Drysdale, Director of the Restoration Trust, said: “We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported Human Henge, a brilliant opportunity for people living with mental health conditions to connect with one of the greatest prehistoric monuments in the world. Stonehenge is an incredible site, so it’s great that Human Henge helps Richmond Fellowship clients in Wiltshire overcome barriers to access and share that adventure with the wider public.’

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West said: “We are so pleased to be part of this exciting project which will add to the quality of life of those taking part now and enable us to understand further the health benefits of engaging with heritage into the future.”

Eastern Daily Press photos

The EDP have kindly given us permission to use these photos from two great stories about Restoration Trust projects.

The Change Minds quilt initiated by Georgina Brabender, is going to be displayed in our pop-up show at Norfolk Record Office.


Change Minds group at Norfolk Records Office. Janice Hubbard, left, and Georgina Brabender with the groups needlework. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Culture Quest music appreciation group continues to listen together at Norwich Arts Centre. Here’s the latest playlist (18/07/2016):

  • ‘Who’s zoomin’ who’ Aretha Franklin.’
  • ‘Simon’s Jump up mix.’
  • ‘Living on a Prayer’ Bon Jovi.
  • ‘Libra Me’ Lars Danielsson.
  • ‘Freeway of Love’ Aretha Franklin.
  • ‘Simon’s Jungle Mix.’
  • ‘Sell Out’ Reel Big Fish.
  • ‘Reconsider’ XXX (Jamies mix.)

Culture Quest at Norwich Arts Centre. Dave Pullin leading the group. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Summer update

It’s turning out to be a busy summer at the Restoration Trust…..

Culture Quest works. “I like being in a group of people in different situations. I also like the variety of music.” Members listen to everything from Beethoven to Hip Hop via Bond theme tunes and mixes by a DJ participant. The Eastern Daily Press, which has an excellent mental health focus, published this story in June. Dave Pullin, the musician and mental health professional who runs the group, is shown in action at Norwich Arts Centre, playing music suggested by one person so that everyone can listen.

Culture Quest story EDP June 2016 copy

A Max Richter gig at the Theatre Royal in the Norfolk and Norwich Festival was the first time one person had been to a concert for 30 years, and a lunchtime concert by the Britton Sinfonia was the first time one person had heard a full orchestra live. And we’ve just had a fantastic workshop with pedal steel guitar legend B J Cole, whose opener was Elton John’s Tiny Dancer; B J described that 1971 recording session – summoned at 4pm, they emerged at 6am, B J’s beautiful sounds rippling through a song which has sold more than 200,000 copies.

Dave and B J ColePreliminary research evidence indicates that CQs model of sharing music in an active listening group is positive for mental health – and it doesn’t cost much – £6.50 per person per hour. So we have applied for a grant to continue the sessions for another year, and we hope to run more groups with Julian Support in Suffolk. We want to make a business plan for a sustainable programme that can be commissioned by mental health and social services, or paid for directly by participants’ personal budgets.

Change Minds “has been awesome!! Thank you ☺” That’s what one of our Year 1 group said about Change Minds so far. Here we are in the Eastern Daily Press again, this time a full feature. Change Minds 12 7 16 EDP

We’ve got a pop-up exhibition in the Long Gallery at Norfolk Record Office, the Year 1 group are booked in for a Book Binding workshop with the NRO conservator, we are recruiting Year 2 participants with the help of Together support workers, and we’re running two Heritage Open Day workshops at the Record Office on 8th September. Oh, and Norman Lamb MP is visiting us for a Change Minds session in November.

Change Minds Cromer, our spin-off partnership at Cromer Library with Norfolk Library and Information Services and Norfolk Community Learning, is well underway. The latest session on research and on-line resources led by Linda Tree, Community Librarian, saw people tracking the person whose case record they are reviewing through the archives. Soon they will be learning about oral history and doing creative writing.

Voyagers, a group of women who were members of Voyage With Me, had our first art gallery trip – we plan to do 6 a year, including one long-distance jaunt. Eight of us went to the British Art Show at Norwich Castle Museum, which was pretty interesting.


Here’s a still from Rachel MacLean’s supersaturated world. Our next trip in September will be to the park at Houghton Hall – James Turrell etc, and Veronica Sekules’ new gallery in Kings Lynn, Groundwork, showing Richard Long and Roger Ackling.

And…..we’ve several projects brewing, applications pending, partnerships consolidating, publications awaiting, volunteers joining. Here’s our new postcard.Screenshot 2016-07-15 15.18.57

Change Minds celebrates

After 15 meetings our first Change Minds group has reached the pause point in the journey, as we move into the next phase of a new group starting in October. This first group will carry on meeting monthly in the meantime, building up towards our final exhibition phase in September 2017.

We celebrated so well! Books and poems are now in a pop-up display in the Archive Centre, beautifully mounted by the Conservator. One participant brought in her lovely quilt about the project, transforming logos and memories into a sparkling piece of textile art. Jennifer Holland, Head of Libraries at Norfolk County Council handed out certificates to every participant, and we all had the chance to revisit the Case Books in the Record Office’s new glass box in the Search Room. Tara Greaves from the Eastern Daily Press came to write a piece about the project and interviewed two participants.

It was a special day.

Burgh Castle Almanac tasters


Burgh Castle Almanac tasters finished at Time and Tide Museum on 21st June. Jemma Watts led a photo-editing workshop and participants printed some beautiful images from Burgh Castle and Time and Tide. We are now digesting the feedback; comments are mostly along the lines of one post – ‘The sessions are GREAT’.  We have thoughtful suggestions about what we could differently, and new ideas for sessions, such more surveying and maintenance at Burgh Castle, more historical background, and using video, sound and creative writing. So now we report back to the Broads Authority, with our partners at Stonham and Norfolk Archaeological Trust. Back to the Heritage Lottery Fund that goes, and then we hope we can move into the Delivery Phase of our exploration of this historic environment for mental health.





 Explore and share tales of life in Norfolk with a mental health condition, a hundred years ago and today.

CROMER LIBRARY Tuesday 14th June, 10 – 1. Then weekly for 10 sessions.

Enrol by dropping in to Cromer Library, or phone Cromer Library on 01263 512850

OR contact Orla Kennelly, Change Minds Coordinator by phone on 01603 774740 on email

Change Minds Cromer is a 10-session course about history and mental health run by the Restoration Trust in partnership with Norfolk Record Office, Norfolk Library and Information Service and Norfolk Community Learning Service. Change Minds Cromer connects to Change Minds, a Heritage Lottery Funded project at Norfolk Record Office. It will be fascinating, challenging and fun.

The Restoration Trust helps people engage with art, culture and heritage – we call it Culture Therapy. Find out more about us

What will I be doing?

Based at Cromer Library, you will join a friendly group who will use the archives in Norfolk Record Office to investigate historical records of patients in St Andrews Hospital (Norfolk County Asylum). You will follow these patients through time using the online census and the millions of documents at Norfolk Record Office. You will make an oral history recording for Norfolk Sound Archive. You will create an online blog about your research.

Cromer Library is a welcoming place for the whole community. As well as books, DVDs, information, free internet access and wi-fi, there are a wide range of activities. You can join at any age and it’s free. Pop in to see us or check for details on the website.

The Norfolk Record Office collects and preserves unique archives relating to the history of Norfolk and makes them accessible to people in Norfolk and across the world. It includes the Norfolk Sound Archive. Based at The Archive Centre, next to County Hall, Norwich, the Norfolk Record Office has been assessed by The National Archives as a four-star archive service (the highest available rating). In 2005, the Record Office’s entire collection, including the St Andrew’s Hospital archive, was awarded Designation status, as being of national and international importance.

What will I gain from the course?

You will learn about the history of 19th Century Norfolk and mental health. You will gain skills in archival research, oral history, and writing online. You will get a certificate and reference at the end of the course. You do not need prior skills and experience.

How will the course be delivered?

It will be led by Orla Kennelly, an Archive Specialist from Norfolk Record Office, along with Linda Tree, a Community Librarian, and an Oral Historian from Norfolk Sound Archive. The course is backed by the Norfolk Community Learning Service (previously Adult Education).

How much will it cost?

It will cost £16.50 per session, or £7.20 per session if you are entitled to a concession because you are aged 19 or over and in receipt of a state benefit.

When will we meet?

You will meet fortnightly from 10am – 1pm for 10 sessions altogether, from June to December. The first meeting is on Tuesday 14th June.

How will I be supported?

You can come with a carer or support worker if that will help you enjoy the project. All Change Minds Cromer staff and volunteers are trained in mental health first aid, and Change Minds has service users, a psychologist and a retired psychiatrist on the board.

How can I be sure that what I say will be confidential?

Change Minds Cromer operates under all the partners’ data protection and confidentiality policies and practices. Your recording for Norfolk Sound Archive can be protected for many years – you could decide that no-one can listen to it for 100 years. You will be asked for your consent for photography, filming and social media. If you do not agree, you can still be part of Change Minds Cromer.

What is the research programme?

Research led by Dr Vicky Scaife, a Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, looks at how well Change Minds Cromer works as a community heritage and wellbeing project. It is your choice whether or not to take part in the research. If you decide not to, you can still take part in Change Minds Cromer.

What happens if something goes wrong?

If you are unhappy about something to do with Change Minds Cromer, please get in touch with Laura Drysdale, the Director of the Restoration Trust, who will try and resolve the issue with you. Contact Laura Drysdale, by phone on 01263 519454, or email

The people

Laura Drysdale,
Director of the Restoration Trust who is Change Minds Cromer Project Manager
Phone: 07740 844883

Orla Kennelly,
Archive Specialist at Norfolk Record Office who coordinates Change Minds Cromer
Phone: 01603 774740

Linda Tree,
The Community Librarian at Norfolk Library and Information Service who is working with the Change Minds Cromer group
Phone: 07917 076901

Dr Victoria Scaife,
Senior Psychology Lecturer who leads research into Change Minds CromerChange Minds

Change Minds Cromer gets underway

IMG_1077.jpgWe’re thrilled that Change Minds has evolved into a new partnership with Norfolk Record Office, Norfolk Library and Information Service and Norfolk Community Learning – Change Minds Cromer.

Now more people in North Norfolk who are interested in archives and mental health can join the research into more amazing 19th century case records from Norfolk Lunatic Asylum. Based at Cromer Library, this 10-session course is enrolling participants right now. Here’s a story about it in the North Norfolk News, thanks to Alex Hurrell.