Laura Drysdale to step down from The Restoration Trust after ten years at the helm

The Trustees of The Restoration Trust are announcing the retirement of Founding Director Laura Drysdale at the end of May 2024.

Through the charity that she founded in 2014 Laura has pioneered ‘culture therapy’, a new approach to using heritage and creativity to alleviate mental ill health. Since 2015 The Restoration Trust has created seven major culture therapy projects, directly benefitting more than 500 people living with mental health challenges: Change Minds (2015-ongoing), Culture Quest (2015-2019) Human Henge (2017-2023), Burgh Castle Almanac (2018-2021), Conservation for Wellbeing (2020-ongoing), Like Minds Norfolk (2020-2022) and Stay In Touch (2020 – ongoing).

Laura has encouraged more than 30 organisations, including national bodies English Heritage, and the National Trust, to collaborate in project development and delivery. She has secured funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Culture Recovery Fund, and from Historic England, Arts Council England, The Baring Foundation and many local bodies. Originally centred in Laura’s home county of Norfolk, culture therapy projects are now taking place in 10 other counties across the United Kingdom. She will be sorely missed, by The Restoration Trust’s Board of Trustees, by our partners, stakeholders and funders, by those whose own work has contributed to our success, and many people with mental ill-health across the UK, whose lives have been changed for the better through their involvement with The Restoration Trust. There will be further communication in due course about how we mark her contribution.

In order to continue our important work, as part of their governance responsibilities, The Board of Trustees, in dialogue with Laura, are considering a wide range of options to determine the future shape of The Restoration Trust.  We welcome expressions of interest from individuals and organisations. Please address any enquiry you may have to Pippa Shaw, by the end of April 2024.

Contact for further information

Pippa Shaw

Administrator, The Restoration Trust

[email protected]