Immersing ourselves in heritage and creativity has significant health benefits. Walking with experts and artists in an ancient landscape is good exercise that arouses our senses and feeds our minds.
Exploring compelling archives is an absorbing, immediate experience of history in the making. Creative writing can help us communicate powerful ideas in a few words, and photography can capture a moment that we can look back on fondly for years. These culture therapy activities are a dose of hope in a society that often seems cold and unfriendly. Here are some of the projects we run to deliver that dose.
Burgh Castle Almanac
Burgh Castle Almanac was an archaeology, creativity and wellbeing programme for people using mental health services in the Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Waveney area which took place at Burgh Castle Roman Fort and the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth between January 2018 and May 2021.
Dr Hills Casebook
Dr Hills’ Casebook was a Change Minds programme that ran from 2019 – 2021, so through the challenge of lockdowns. The partnership with Norfolk Record Office was extended to South Norfolk and Broadland Community Connectors, and UpShoot Theatre Company.
Human Henge has run twice at Stonehenge, once at Avebury and during lockdown we ran it online. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wiltshire County Council and English Heritage, repeated iterations have involved around 35 local people in walking with intent in ancient landscapes, along with archaeologists, musicians, artists and support workers.
Like Minds Norfolk
Like Minds Norfolk connected excluded people living with mental health issues in North Norfolk, Broadland and Norwich with Norfolk’s amazing landscape, heritage, arts and culture so that their mental wellbeing improved.
Conservation for Wellbeing
C4W combines conservation, archives and mental health. As well as practising conservation, participants gained behind-the-scenes knowledge of how heritage collections are protected and cared for at London Metropolitan Archives
Culture Quest was a music appreciation programme for around 60 people overall with complex mental health needs who meet weekly and then later fortnightly to listen to music together
Some other projects
Sound Minds – experiencing sound archives as part of the British Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project. With Norfolk Record Office. Coordinated by Dave Pullin.
Exploring Caistor Roman Town – a 5-session pilot experiencing the archaeological landscape with Caistor Roman Project and the Matthew Project. Coordinated by Darren France with Ian Brownlie.
Change Minds – with Together for Mental Wellbeing and other partners, iterations in 2026, 2027, 2018 involving people from North Norfolk, Broadland and Norwich. Coordinated by Helen Sabberton and Dave Pullin.
Putting On A Progress 1578 – creative and heritage workshops for Creative Spark, held in Bury St Edmunds in 2022, coordinated by Ian Brownlie.
Want to find out about our products too?
The Restoration Trust is able to deliver support by designing new projects and bringing together partners with the capacity to deliver them. There are a wide range of alternative projects that heritage partners and mental health service providers could collaborate on, and our products help understand the value of culture therapy and encourage people with mental health challenges to access pro-active support while also helping them engage with heritage assets.
We’re always exploring new products that would support partner organisations to take a greater role in the development and delivery of programmes, so if you’re interested in finding out more, click below.