Corporate Information & Policies

Our Current Partners and Funders

Our Director

Laura Drysdale

Laura Drysdale worked in conservation and museum management at the Victoria and Albert Museum, English Heritage and the Museums Libraries and Archives Council. Latterly she supported marginalised people in hostels and their own homes for Stonham Homestay, Julian Support and Together for Mental Wellbeing.

Our Trustees

Alison Richmond

“In my own professional life as a conservator of art and artefacts and as a someone with bipolar disorder I had experienced first-hand the healing power of conserving precious things. Laura Drysdale’s idea of using our heritage, whether ancient sites like Stonehenge or 19th Century asylum records in regional archives, to engage people with mental ill health and stimulate creativity rang absolutely true with me. Having spent most of my working life in the V&A I knew how much of the collection was underused and appeared inaccessible to many people outside of the museum. Making people feel that this heritage belongs to all of us and not just the initiated few has always been important to me. In the last nine years of my working life, I ran a heritage charity and membership body. I thought I might have something to contribute to the Restoration Trust and joined the Board of Trustees in 2018.”

Danny Whatmough

“As a music graduate who trained as an opera singer but now runs a PR agency, the Restoration Trust allows me to embrace two passions: culture and communication. Luckily for me, communicating the cultural initiatives of the Restoration Trust is easy. Much of what the organisation does speaks for itself; making a meaningful difference to people’s lives by exposure to creative projects that uncover hidden treasures or open up little known parts of our rich cultural heritage. It’s a powerful combination that captures the imagination of those that touch it but also those that care about mental health provision and cultural heritage preservation in the UK. I’m proud to have played a small part with Laura and the rest of the board in furthering this important work.”

Debbie Tilson

“I’m a chartered accountant, specialising in the charity sector and I became a trustee for the Restoration Trust as I wanted to support the fantastic work the charity does. I have an interest in heritage sites and grew up in Norfolk, where many of the charity’s projects are run. Mental health is important for everyone, and the projects run by the Restoration Trust make a real difference to participants’ lives and wellbeing.”

Dr Sara Lunt

I am an archaeologist, and I spent most of my working life with English Heritage; during that time, I met Laura and Frankie. My last project for EH was creating the object display in the new visitor centre at Stonehenge and, after I left EH in 2014, Laura, who’d been nursing ideas about using ancient sites for cultural therapy, pounced on me.

At first, I was really dubious about the whole thing, especially as I had no experience of working for a charity and very little experience of mental ill-health. But I was intrigued and I could see that my archaeological background and my professional contacts might be useful. I thought ‘Oh, why not give it a go’?

Human Henge taught me that heritage experts and our participants together could unlock the therapeutic value of ancient places and that this was of long-term benefit for people who suffered from mental ill-health. For an archaeologist, this was a revelation – how marvellous to realize that these old places had the power to change modern lives for the better. Well done, Stonehenge – I’m so proud of you! And of Restoration Trust, of our partners and, most of all, of our courageous participants.

Nic Allen

Nic established Crambeth Allen Publishing in 1991. The primary aim of this award-winning company has been to document the practicalities of implementing architectural and engineering design: in print, online and through events.

Frances Halahan ACR, FIIC

Frances is the owner of Halahan Associates, museum and conservation consultants. Halahan Associates specialises in collection management and care for private collections, historic houses, museums and galleries.

Johnny Tipler

Johnny is a freelance motoring journalist, historian and author with over 35 books published on a variety of motoring topics. He is a major contributor to 911 & Porsche World, Classic Porsche and Porsche Post magazines.

Mel Rogers

My name is Mel. I became involved with the Restoration Trust when I was offered a place on a pilot study, through the Richmond Fellowship who help people who suffer with mental health. I had a worker called Sue, she helped me with my confidence, offered me a place on a pilot study called Human Henge, which would be a 10-week course based up at Stonehenge.

Going back through all the history was rather awesome. I never realised this was going to change my life (for the better). This course helped me in lots of ways, I became very friendly with a lady called Sarah, we were also lucky that someone in our group set up a Facebook page, which we have kept going. Quite a few of the group have gone on to different things, but all for the good.
Quite often a few of us would go off to universities to talk about Human Henge; I also went to Ipswich to meet with others who were involved in Restoration Trust Projects, or about to start.I then had to take some time out.

The Restoration Trust then gave us an opportunity to be part of a group that would look at different aspects, and things which the Restoration Trust could be thinking about, or trying, or new ideas we could thrash about between us. Then it would go to the Trustees to see what they thought, then came back to us, and so the EAB Group was formed.
We had got a grant, which meant some of us could get tech, so I was lucky to get a laptop and there’s an IT guy Stuart, who helps out if we get stuck, which at the beginning was quite a bit.

I was part of helping set up Human Henge online through Covid. It was really exciting and I felt as if I’d done something for others like I’d been helped when I started Human Henge. But for me, hearing that they were looking for a Trustee felt quite exciting; I had nothing to lose, but felt I had a lot to give.

So, I spoke with Laura and Alison, the chair of the Restoration Trust. They were up for it and at the next meeting I was put forward and voted on unanimously, which was an amazing feeling. My husband and I had a tough time through Covid, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so we didn’t do Covid, we did cancer. Also, my mental health took a battering.

With all this going on, I was still able to be involved with the Restoration Trust. They set up a meeting, once a week, where we did all sorts of fun things. It is still carrying on fortnightly now for a lot of people, who have been involved in all their projects. So, for me the Restoration Trust saved my life. I have come full circle, so my future with the Restoration Trust is an exciting one.

Helen Maclagan

Starting out as an archaeologist, I have spent my working life in heritage and latterly in culture more widely. It has been my great good fortune to work with and among amazing sites, material and people, and I have drawn inspiration from all of those. Increasingly, I have observed the potential impact that close contact with heritage, culture and creativity can have on individuals and their well-being, and on communities. The physical evidence of heritage – from a pawprint on a Roman tile to the blast furnaces of Blaenavon – can be a powerful resource and force for good. The Restoration Trust, whose work I have admired for some time, is a leader in this field. I am keen to play a part in developing this work and building on the successes already achieved.

John Durrant

I was first introduced the Restoration Trust in 2018 on a project called Burgh Castle Almanac and the project was amazing – I got to do so much that I’d never done before. Through that process Covid hit and Laura lent me a laptop so that I could attend meetings and stay involved with the Restoration Trust.  Then I got asked if I would sit on the Expert Advisory Board, which I’ve now on been on for just over 2 years.  In 2023 I saw they were looking for a Trustee, so I emailed Laura and Alison we had a chat before it had to be put the Board of Trustees… and I got a spot, I am buzzing!

Lindsey Lovatt

Lindsey has worked as an Occupational Therapist in the NHS Mental health services for 30 years.  She is now Director of Movement in Practice and Director of Clinical Application for Move-Assure Dance for Mental Wellbeing, bringing movement into wellbeing.  Lindsey is delighted to join The Restoration Trust as a Trustee.

Consultants & Volunteers

We have an Expert Advisory Board of 12 people who have participated in our projects and who advise us on strategy, wellbeing research, projects and inclusion. Members of the EAB represent the Restoration Trust on steering groups and project boards. People also volunteer on projects and speak to the media and at seminars and conferences about their work with us.

More Information

Latest

Annual Report

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Governance Document

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