Norwich Consolidated Charities funds Culture Quest

We are delighted to announce that Culture Quest (CQ) has been awarded £10,000 by Norwich Consolidated Charities. As a result, the music appreciation group with people with complex mental health problems who live in Norwich can continue to meet weekly at Norwich ARts Centre for another year. We can also extend our research with UEA psychologist Dr Victoria Scaife so that we have 18 months of decent data to help us plan for the future; Dr Scaife’s interim report suggests that participants feel less isolated and more resilient as a result of attending the group.

CQ is a simple, innovative, cost-effective way to connect very marginalised local people with each other, with their love of music, and with great cultural resources in Norwich. It addresses needs such as loneliness, mental illness, social exclusion. CQ fits with the Recovery agenda that underpins NSFT strategy, and Norfolk County Council Health and Wellbeing Strategy’s theme of Improving Mental Health. We think that CQ can be part of the local offer to people on personal health budgets through clinical commissioning groups, and we will be working up a business plan with that in view.

Here is what we know so far. 

  1. CQ plays to people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses because the focus is on a shared love of music. A support worker says: ”It has really helped my clients to make friends, socialise and have something positive to do.”
  2. CQ is accessible to mentally ill people who love music and use it to feel good. One member says “I think it is a good way to help people through music.”
  3. CQ is safe. One member says:” I have no worries about CQ, it is a friendly place to come and everybody is very friendly.” People can participate even though their symptoms may be active.
  4. CQ connects people. One person says: “I like being in a group of people in different situations.
  5. CQ encourages tolerance. A member says: ”The thing that attracts me to CQ is different pieces of music that people bring in each session.”
  6. CQ enables curiosity. One person says: ‘It is good to hear some weirder more experimental stuff.”
  7. People share a small part of themselves through their choices. One member plays his own mixes, another played a track her boyfriend had written and recorded.
  8. Members pay a small fee, thereby giving to the project.
  9. Members are included in local culture. They ‘belong’ at Norwich Arts Centre; subsidised tickets and support enabled one person to attend his first concert in 30 years (Max Richter, Theatre Royal); one heard his first live orchestra (Britton Sinfonia, St Andrews Hall); legendary session musician B J Cole led a workshop.
  10. CQ normalises engagement with very marginalised people at Norwich Arts Centre, contributing to NAC and Arts Council England aims of ‘Great art and culture for everyone.


CQ partners are Norwich Arts Centre, Julian Support and the Restoration Trust.

The Music Appreciation Group is run by Dave Pullin.

CQ is managed by Laura Drysdale and enquiries should be addressed to her at

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