CQ Christmas Gathering 17th December at Norwich Arts Centre

A fantastic set by DJ Simon, lovely music making by John, Dave and Georgia, and some great tunes by John, Metallica, Greg Lake and more, plus eats and drinks. Thanks to wonderful Norwich Arts Centre – Pasco, Bradley, Will, Jane and all. 


Social value 2016 – 2017

We’ve been doing a lot of work on our business plan for 2017 – 2020 (with NPS, thanks to Norfolk ProHelp), and our annual report for 2016 – 2017 (with Future Coders).

In the process we calculated the social value of our projects over the last financial year, using the HACT Social Value Bank calculator.

The housing-based measure isn’t sensitive enough to capture the nuance of our approach, and rather depressingly the only heading where heritage, art and culture might fit is under ‘hobbies’. So we have mostly used a comparatively low value heading at £1,773 called ‘regular attendance at a voluntary or local organisation’, downplaying sessions at Stonehenge, Norfolk Record Office, Norwich Arts Centre, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and Burgh Castle, to name but a few!

Much higher value headings include for example ‘relief from depression/anxiety’ at £36,766, but we will wait for our research reports before we apply that measure. If we did use it, the impact ratio would be 1:40, with net benefit to the order of £2.39 million.

Even so, we still get great results.

The overall budget for our projects was £61,256

The overall social impact was £135,652

The ratio of budget to impact was 1:2.21

The net benefit was £74,396


Heritage and Historic Landscapes are good for you!

Human Henge: Historic landscapes and mental health at Stonehenge



  • Ground-breaking project about archaeology, mental health and creativity
  • Cultural therapy through a number of journeys across the Stonehenge World Heritage Site into the world-famous stone circle.

Human Henge is a collaborative project run by the Restoration Trust in partnership with Richmond Fellowship, English Heritage and Bournemouth University with support from the National Trust and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

The project draws on ideas that Stonehenge was once a place of healing and explores the relationship between people, place and the past. It examines whether a creative exploration of historic landscapes can help people with mental health conditions.

Through a programme of participant-led activities, 32 local people living with mental health problems and on low incomes, come together for fun, therapeutic adventures, with experts, carers and support workers in this remarkable and inspiring ancient landscape.

Laura Drysdale, Director of the Restoration Trust says, “We hope that Human Henge will get people doing things they’ve never contemplated before, from star spotting on the cursus, to chanting poetry inside the stone circle, to presenting at conferences, curating an exhibition or publishing a book. That’s the whole Human Henge journey.”  

Participant Andria Walton says, “Human Henge is a personal journey of healing for me. I live with emotional health issues, and I feel very comfortable and accepted with this group. It’s meaningful to learn about our ancient cultures, it’s exhilarating being in the open air, it blows away the cobwebs. It’s rejuvenating and revitalising.”

The group is accompanied by curators and artists, archaeologist Professor Tim Darvill, and musician and creative facilitator Yvette Staelens, as they explore the monuments, features and layers of meaning in the Stonehenge landscape, enabled through the participation of English Heritage and the National Trust. Each series of journeys end with a ceremony inside the Stone Circle, collaborating with musician Chartwell Dutiro at Winter Solstice or Spring Equinox. The final activity is devised by the participants in response to their individual and shared experiences on their journey.

Professor Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University said “Human Henge has really opened up new ways of looking at the Stonehenge Landscape and thinking about the way people might have used it and experienced it in the past. By spending time at a selection of the sites around Stonehenge it becomes possible to think about the landscape, the skyscape, and the monuments themselves. We can look at how their form structured the way people approached them and moved around them. Materials such as stone and clay come to life in your hands as you think about their uses and meanings, while sounds help the imagination travel back in time to the world of the early farmers.”

Speaking of one of their journeys in the landscape, one participant said “It was a day of connections, connecting to new people, a new landscape and maybe in some small way our ancestors.”

Another added, “This week was reflective. It was about connecting on a personal level with the landscape by listening to the birds and the wind, feeling the cold, sitting in the grass and being surrounded by these amazing burial monuments.”

“The experience felt completely natural and restorative. Perhaps we were connecting to something beyond us. The stones towering over you remind you of your smallness in this big world, and yet bring you together as part of a wider history with our ancestors.” 

Martin Allfrey, Senior Curator of Collections, English Heritage said “We all know that visiting historic sites and engaging with artefacts from the past can be inspiring and fun but we’ve never tried to measure the benefits that historic places can provide for people suffering from mental health issues.  We are really pleased that Stonehenge is the focus for this groundbreaking project, which brings together expert researchers from Bournemouth University and local people in Wiltshire.  We hope that not only will the project add to the quality of life of those taking part but we also want to share the results widely, promoting a much greater understanding of the health and well-being benefits of engaging with historic places”.


The Human Henge project runs until June 2018. Findings and further questions will be explored and shared through activities, focus groups, exhibitions and conferences.  You can follow progress on the Human Henge blog humanhenge.org/news/



Notes to editors

  1. 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.
  2. Human Henge engages disadvantaged people living in Wiltshire in a therapeutic sensory experience of the World Heritage Site.
  3. Human Henge is a partnership with English Heritage, Richmond Fellowship and Bournemouth University supported by the National Trust and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. The project is also part funded by Wiltshire Council Amesbury Area Board and English Heritage.
  4. About the Restoration Trust: We help people with mental health problems engage with art, culture and heritage; we call it culture therapy. Our life-enhancing projects are partnerships between arts and heritage organisations and organisations that support people with mental health conditions. We research the evidence of what works for wellbeing, and we spread the word about what we do. http://www.restorationtrust.org.uk
  5. 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.
  6. About the Heritage Lottery Fund: From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.  www.hlf.org.uk.
  7. For further information, images and interviews, please contact
    Laura Drysdale, Director of The Restoration Trust on mobile 07740 844883 and email laura@restorationtrust.org.uk
  8. Find out more about Human Henge at www.humanhenge.org


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 laura@restorationtrust.org.uk

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.