Help Mel Raise Money for The Restoration Trust

Hello, I’m Mel, I’m currently 18st 5lbs and over the next few months I plan on losing 3 stone or more in weight to help raise money for The Restoration Trust’s Expert Advisory Board.

The Expert Advisory Board that I am a part of is run through the Restoration Trust and my plan is to take a partial amount of the donations I receive to purchase T shirts for the group.  Any extra donations will also be put back into the trust.

The Restoration Trust is important to me because they helped support me with their Human Henge project which did help improve my mental wellbeing.  The Restoration Trust has not only just supported me as one of their participants, but it has also opened up new opportunities for me and now I am lucky enough to work alongside them as one of their trustees.

I’m using this opportunity to raise money to support The Restoration Trust so they can continue to support others in the position I myself was once in. With the support of Tia managing this gofundme page for me, I plan to keep a log throughout my weight loss journey and will keep everyone updated as I hit my milestones.  Any and all support is welcomed and encouraged whilst I am on this journey. Go to my gofundme page here.

Investment in culture and nature to boost the nation’s health

Human Henge, our archaeology and mental health project in the inspiring ancient landscape of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, has been awarded a grant to scale up, through a new research programme that will unleash innovative ways to use culture and nature to tackle health disparities.

Scaling Up Human Henge will be a partnership led by Professor Tim Darvill at Bournemouth University, including ourselves, English Heritage, Richmond Fellowship, Rethink and the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. It will look at using prehistoric cultural heritage sites to enhance mental health well-being in marginalized communities.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is funding 12 new research projects exploring how culture and nature can level up health and wellbeing across the UK.

The programme will see researchers working in collaboration with communities and health partners across the UK.

They will establish how cultural and natural interventions can be placed at the service of public health.

Making ancient monuments and landscapes work to enhance the mental health wellbeing of present-day communities not only gives meaning to the past but also hope for the future.

Through this project we will use aspects of our rich prehistoric heritage to co-create innovative approaches to social prescribing through cultural heritage therapy programmes. Read the full article here.

📷 Yvette Staelens

Harnessing heritage stimulates creativity and aids mental health

“Our participants fall into the gulf in mental health provision between GP services and hospital admission, so we engage people with heritage and creativity in co-created partnerships that support their mental health.”

Thanks to University of East Anglia (UEA) for including Laura Drysdale’s blog about how harnessing heritage can stimulate creativity and support our mental health. Read the full blog here.

📷 A group meets as part of the Burgh Castle Almanac project, which spent two years exploring the historic landscape at Burgh Castle Roman Fort (Photograph by Rob Fairclough).

Heritage Link Worker pilot project goes live

Norfolk-based charity the Restoration Trust has been awarded a grant of £70,000 by Historic England to run a 2-year social prescribing and heritage pilot project in Great Yarmouth and Waveney. The project aims to demonstrate heritage’s potential to contribute to meeting the wellbeing needs of local people through social prescribing, via appointment of a Heritage Link Worker.

Emily Cannell, a graduate of Norwich University of the Arts who is passionate about the opportunities for heritage and creativity to improve mental health and wellbeing, will take up this new role on 28th March 2022. Emily will collaborate with partners Access Community Trust, D.I.A.L. Great Yarmouth and local Primary Care Networks and social prescribing link workers to connect local people who are referred to social prescribing services with heritage activities and organisations in the area, including within the Heritage Action Zones in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Building on the Restoration Trust’s archaeology and mental health project ‘Burgh Castle Almanac’, based at the Roman fort on the banks of Breydon Water, the Heritage Link Worker Project will address the barriers that prevent people on low income and with poor health from enjoying local heritage.

Evidence published by Historic England and others shows that heritage improves mental health and wellbeing and strengthens people’s sense of belonging. Social prescribing proves to be a powerful tool to help deliver individual and community wellbeing and address health inequalities, including through heritage interventions. The NHS’s target is that 900,000 people in England will be benefitting from a social prescription by 2024, and the Heritage Link Worker pilot supports the Restoration Trust and Historic England’s vision of using heritage as a vital contribution to achieving this ambition.

To find out more about this project and to connect with the Heritage Link Worker, please contact Darren France, Project Manager, by emailing

📷 Members of Burgh Castle Almanac mental health project enjoying a walk at the Roman fort

Burgh Castle Almanac 2018 – 2020

We are delighted to be publishing the Burgh Castle Almanac 2018 – 2020, designed by Robert Fairclough and edited by Ellen Hardy.  With thanks to the Broads Authority, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and all our wonderful partners, stakeholders and members.

Burgh Castle Almanac (BCA) was an archaeology, creativity and wellbeing programme based at Burgh Castle Roman Fort and Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth between 2018 and 2020. It invited local people living with mental health challenges to engage with a local heritage landscape as ‘culture therapy’. You can find the full Almanac here.

Richard Johnson wins Heritage Hero 2021!

We are beyond thrilled to say that Richard Johnson, who has been part of Change Minds since 2018, has won the Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Hero 2021 Award. 

In 2018 Richard participated in Change Minds, the archives and mental health programme that we run with Norfolk Record Office. He was profoundly impressed by the life, work and character of Dr William Charles Hills, Medical Superintendent of Norfolk County Asylum from 1861 to 1887, and began research that revealed new evidence about the history of mental health treatment.

Richard’s love for this good man led to another Change Minds project, Dr Hills’ Casebook (February 2020 to December 2021), where he provided an astonishing amount of research and personal support for participants. This and his Aide Memoire about Dr Hills and the Asylum underpinned participants’ research and creativity, a professional theatre production and a published Anthology.

Richard is integral to Scaling Up Change Minds, February 2022 – March 2025, where, with Norfolk Record Office, we will create an online information hub tested by six pilots in archives in England and Scotland, manualising the use of mental health and colonial archives for social prescription.

Through these projects, Richard has helped raise £328+k for heritage and mental health, supporting around 90 people with mental health problems, reducing stigma and influencing heritage and mental health sectors.

Richard tirelessly advocates for Change Minds and the Restoration Trust. In 2021 he spoke at conferences run by the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance, Community Archives and Heritage Group and First Fortnight Festival. He is a member of the Charity Archives Development Plan Steering Group and the Workhouse Network, and volunteers for Gressenhall Museum and Southwell Workhouse. Richard is on our Expert Advisory Board, advising trustees and staff from the perspective of experience of mental illness.

Richard has brought us learning, kindness, commitment, connections and resilience. Gary Tuson, Norfolk County Archivist and our partner in Change Minds, agrees: Richard is a prize-winning volunteer!

Take a look at our ‘Richard Johnson, Heritage Hero 2021’ video here.

Evaluation Consultant – Contract for Tender

Task – Heritage Linkworker Evaluation Consultant

Timescale – March 2022 – November 2023

Fee rate – £6,000 including VAT if payable and travel (it is anticipated that the work will be carried out online)

The Restoration Trust has a grant from Historic England for a project to enable local people who are referred to social prescribing services to access interesting heritage activities for their mental health and wellbeing. It is a pilot project whereby the Restoration Trust and Historic England are aiming to make heritage an integral part of provision for people with mental health problems.

The Consultant will write an Evaluation Report for the Steering Group. This will form part of our final report for Historic England.

Please contact Laura Drysdale, Director of the Restoration Trust, for more information about the project and how to apply, at

Deadline: Monday 28 February at 5pm

Interviews: Tuesday 8 March on Zoom

The Restoration Trust has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £248,910 for an exciting heritage project, Scaling Up Change Minds

The Restoration Trust has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £248,910 for an exciting heritage project, Scaling Up Change Minds.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project is a partnership between the Norfolk Record Office and the Restoration Trust that builds on successful Change Minds projects in Norfolk. Change Minds is a community heritage programme using archives for mental wellbeing and social connection. It connects isolated people with local heritage assets, creativity and each other so that their mental health improves.

Scaling Up Change Minds consists of an online resource hub and six Change Minds pilots involving around 80 people who live with mental health challenges. Wellbeing research will be led by the University of Dundee.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund with the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation, the Hub will be a multi-media website managed by the Change Minds partnership of the Restoration Trust and Norfolk Record Office. It will contain advocacy, partnership formation, delivery and evaluation resources.

Six Change Minds iterations will test the Hub. They will involve up to 84 people from excluded backgrounds and diverse communities who live with mental health challenges.

The Hub will be enriched by the geographical and institutional spread of archives and their diverse mental health collaborators, with iterations at Norfolk Record Office, Bethlem Museum of the Mind, The National Archives, Bristol Archives, Lancashire Archives, and University of Dundee Archives. Wellbeing research will be led by the University of Dundee. The Scottish Council on Archives, the Richmond Fellowship and the University of East Anglia are involved as advisors and advocates.

The Restoration Trust is an organisation that involves people who live with mental health challenges in heritage and creativity. Scaling Up Change Minds focusses on using fascinating mental health and colonial archives to explore the history and impact of mental health and racism then and now.

Commenting on the award, Laura Drysdale, Director of the Restoration Trust said: “We are thrilled to have received this support for our Change Minds partnership with the Norfolk Record Office thanks to National Lottery players and are confident that the project will benefit the participants and contribute to our mission to make heritage an everyday asset for mental health and wellbeing.’

Notes to editors
About The Restoration Trust

We use heritage and creativity to improve people’s mental health. We call it Culture Therapy because exploring compelling archives or sensory immersion in ancient landscapes reignites people’s curiosity and love of life.

Follow @RestoTrust on Twitter and Facebook

About The Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (NORAH)

Using donations from the public, we support projects which preserve Norfolk’s archival heritage, and which encourage people to engage with Norfolk’s archives to the benefit of their wellbeing.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.

Each week, National Lottery players raise £36 million for good causes across the UK.

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Laura Drysdale at the Restoration Trust on 07740 844883,

Evaluation Consultant – Contract for Tender

Task – Scaling Up Change Minds Evaluation Consultant

Contract – £14,000

Timescale – March 2022 – April 2024

The Restoration Trust wishes to commission an Evaluation Consultant to evaluate the project in terms of the outputs and outcomes identified in our bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We are looking for an Evaluation Consultant who has a particular interest in the field of cross-sectoral initiatives in culture, health and wellbeing, and has experience of evaluating National Lottery Heritage Fund projects.

The Evaluation Consultant will be commissioned to review delivery of the Scaling Up Change Minds project in terms of achieving the outputs and outcomes described in our application to the Digital Skills for Heritage Connected Heritage fund and in the associated Project Plan. Evaluation will be: beneficial; robust; people-centred; connected (Centre for Cultural Value 2021).

The consultant will carry out preliminary research to establish context, creating a Theory of Change based on this research. This will be the basis for an Evaluation Plan approved by the Project Board, using mixed methods to collect data, including standardised data from local partnerships. Reports at 6 monthly intervals will be action learning resources for all partners. The final report will be part of our ultimate evaluation for the funder.

The following work packages will be evaluated: Project Management; Partnership processes and delivery; Digital Infrastructure; Co-production of Hub Resources; Delivery of Change Minds iterations; Communications and Advocacy; Business Planning.

This will involve reviewing: a) participation of partners, stakeholders, staff, consultants and volunteers; b) public engagement in events and online; c) quality of the Change Minds Hub; d) cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the Change Minds hub.

Outcomes to be assessed are: A wider range of people will be involved; People will have developed skills; People will have learnt about heritage, leading to change in ideas and action; The funded organisation will be more resilient.


Please contact Laura Drysdale, Director of the Restoration Trust, for more information about the project and how to apply, at

Deadline Friday 25 February at 5pm

Interviews Friday 11 March on Zoom

Heritage Link Worker job description

Job Title:                      Heritage Link Worker

Location:                      Great Yarmouth

Salary:                          £22,000 pro rata

Contract:                      Fixed term 2 Years (4 days a week) from March 2022

Reporting to:                Restoration Trust Project Manager

The Restoration Trust has a grant from Historic England to pilot a Heritage Link Worker role that will be a way for local people who are referred to social prescribing services to access interesting heritage activities for their mental health and wellbeing.

It is a pilot project and there will be opportunities to suggest, develop and implement ideas which will forward the Restoration Trust and Historic England’s aim to make heritage an integral part of provision for people with mental health problems.

We welcome applications from people from black, brown and minoritised communities, as they are under-represented in our organisation, and also from people who have lived experience of mental health challenges. 

Job Description

This role will involve connecting people with heritage activities in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, so that we can support people living with mental health problems by encouraging their participation in heritage. We believe that enjoyable experiences of heritage will strengthen people’s sense of belonging to their place and community. 

Job Responsibilities:

  • To work across the Great Yarmouth Borough Council and East Suffolk Council areas, including in the Heritage Action Zones in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
  • Co-locate with our Social Prescribing Health partners in the locality, providing dedicated time to referrals, sharing information with other Link Workers, linking referrals to heritage activities and assisting sustained contact between referrals and these activities.
  • Connect with primary care and wellbeing services, collaborating as part of the wider multi-disciplinary structure within the locality.
  • Build relationships with social prescribing networks and local Voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE), encouraging partnerships to develop new heritage-related opportunities. 
  • Connect and build relationships with key heritage and associated agencies such as our funders Historic England and agencies including the Broads Authority, Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust and local museums, archaeology and archives services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
  • Contribute to the Restoration Trust’s mapping of local heritage and related resources, and of health and social care referrers, thereby identifying gaps and opportunities.
  • Gather data for Evaluation, assist in active learning and assessing the impact of the project on the health and community engagement of people who have used the service (following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018)
  • Contribute to reports and documents created by the project, including to Historic England, as part of Evaluation, and developing guidance on heritage engagement for social prescribing.

Job Requirements

  • A keen desire to support people, especially those dealing with mental health problems.
  • Good people skills and the ability to quickly connect with others to get them the help they need.
  • Experience of supporting people in community, health, social care or information and advice settings.
  • A sound knowledge of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Area and of local heritage
  • An interest in history and in working to involve a wider range of people with heritage. 
  • Ability to work flexibly from home and in other locations.
  • Ability to learn quickly and understand what you need to do within your role.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Good IT skills with the ability to find and record information quickly and efficiently.
  • GCSEs in English and Mathematics will be advantageous.
  • Good organisational and communication skills.


Apply with a CV and covering letter by email to

Closing date for applications Monday 31st January at 5pm.

Interviews online Friday 18th February.

Heritage Link Worker in post before Friday 1st April.