What a journey it’s been putting together Dr Hills’ Casebook. Here is an insight into the collaboration process, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the participants involved. A special thank you to Julian Claxton for putting this wonderful piece together.
What makes ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook’ such a moving narrative is the collection of real experiences from the patients of the Norfolk County Asylum. The characters are brought to life by the dedicated research of the participants paired with the remarkable story-telling of the UpShoot Theatre Company, as we get to experience what living in the Victorian asylum was truly like. The play reflects on mental health today through the lens of Dr Hills’ practice. Using history and theatre, it tackles vital issues about the quality of care available to people now, as demand grows and services retreat.
A Q & A at the end of performances is a chance to hear from participants about their experience of co-creation, from writer Belona Greenwood, director Laila France and lead researcher Richard Johnson. Other members of the project team, including Norfolk County Archivist Gary Tuson and the Restoration Trust’s Director Laura Drysdale will be on hand to answer questions about Change Minds.
To book your free tickets for the upcoming screening of ‘Dr Hills’ Casebook,’ please click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dr-hills-casebook-film-screening-tickets-153000206737
The website for our Burgh Castle Almanac project is now up and running. We’ll be posting blog updates from participants as well as photos, videos and artwork from the group’s fortnightly sessions.
Photo by Tod Sullivan
Thanks to Beth Brunton for this great blog post about our Change Minds project on the National Archives blog.
The benefits to the participants have been significant. Feedback shows that the chance to meet people, and to feel connected to new people in both the past and the present has been transformative. It has opened up new interests, new confidence in skills and talents, and even paths to volunteering.
Culture therapy at Burgh Castle and Time and Tide Museum
by Jeannette Beynon
I came across Culture Therapy when doing an online Genealogy course which helped me look into more of my family history My father went into hospital during WW2 while in the RAF after having a tooth out and experiencing neuralgia. While investigating this I found out about another hospital in Edinburgh, the Craiglockhart Hospital in WW1 for traumatised military personnel. Their treatment was changed from very strict discipline that disregarded any sort of illness in 1916 because it just didn’t help the traumatised men. A more therapeutic approach encouraged the men to get back into everyday life, and they were supported into a type of work experience, helping out on farms and even in schools. Coincidentally this was called Culture Therapy in 1916.
Our Burgh Castle Almanac project is helping us to visit places of historical interest and to look into the history of our area. The project includes us using art forms to record our experiences and perceptions when we go to Burgh Castle Roman Fort. This session we were at Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth, with artist Ian Brownlie.
Manipulating our photographs with the gimp2 software is both challenging for me (being older and not brought up with technology) and exciting. A few years ago I made an animation of one of my own short stories about my cat in a media class, and today will help me return to doing more photography and art, which I’ve enjoyed since school.
Looking round Time & Tide Museum today was brilliant. Museums are so much more hands-on and interesting now than I remember them being back in the 1950s. It was fascinating to hear Malcolm’s experiences of working on the herring boats and his travels all over the world back in the 1960s and 70s. He knew exactly what the fishing relics were at the museum and had even owned some of them himself. Others in the group have so much knowledge of the area too and they gave personal social accounts of the history of Great Yarmouth. Adrian talked about developing his interest in archaeology when young and finding artefacts which he didn’t realise then could have been quite valuable. Other members spoke of their expertise in photography and different art forms and their different ideas and personal stories of the
The best part for me of the Time and Tide Museum was going down the reconstructed lane of 1900 in Great Yarmouth. The tiny houses with all the different occupants, the chemist shop, the sail maker, the more affluent home, the child’s room with the mother and child in it; so many different types of houses, so closely packed together. It gave me a glimpse into their world in the 1900’s and the close sense of community there must have been.
My added interest included taking along today my father’s photos of his “house parties” in Great Yarmouth in 1927, when he and “the gang” from London went on holiday there.
My own first holiday photos were of Great Yarmouth in June 1947 when I was a baby. I’m playing on the beach with my 2 older siblings and we are wearing out our poor parents with our excitement of being at the seaside, as children do.
I look forward to getting back into my art and photography and creating my own record of this area which will include the history right up to the present day. Many thanks for including me on this really interesting project.
Photos by Andrew Farrell, Project Officer, Water, Mills and Marshes
The Restoration Trust features in Museums as Spaces for Wellbeing: A Second Report from the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing which explores the development of museums, health and wellbeing work in the UK.
Our Human Henge project features as a case study in the report.
We have released our second newsletter for our upcoming project Burgh Castle Almanac. You can read it online here.
Eastern Daily Press – Monday 20th November
Read the full article here
Change Minds member and project board member, Georgina Brabender, and Restoration Trust Director, Laura Drysdale on BBC Radio Norfolk – Monday 20th November
Norfolk mental health project Change Minds goes national!
Norman Lamb MP hosts reception for Norfolk mental health project Change Minds at the Houses of Parliament
“There is more to somebody than just mental health problems.”
Change Minds participant
Change Minds Private view at The Forum, Norwich, Monday 20th November.
To celebrate two years of Norfolk archives and mental health project Change Minds, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has invited participants to the Houses of Parliament for a special visit and reception on Monday 4th of December 2017.
Change Minds helps very disadvantaged people in North Norfolk make creative use of Norfolk Record Office and local libraries for their mental health. Through the 19th century asylum archives in Norfolk Record Office, participants explore life with a mental health problem in the 1880s, and compare it with their experience today. Research by the UEA and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust shows that Change Minds participants feel more positive and have reduced their use of health services.
The project is a partnership between the Restoration Trust, Norfolk Record Office, Norfolk Library and Information Service and Together for Mental Wellbeing, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our new project in Norwich starts in February at the Millennium Library, with funding from Town Close Estate Charity.
We want to spread the word about Change Minds at national level because evidence shows that it is an innovative, cost-effective way to connect very disadvantaged people with local history and each other so that their mental health improves.
In the morning Head of Parliamentary Archives David Prior will show participants original documents relating to asylums and mental health treatment from the 19th Century to today. The afternoon reception in Portcullis House will include speeches by participants, Isobel Hunter – Head of Archives Sector Development at the National Archives, Joff Whitten – Heritage Lottery Fund East of England Committee, and Norman Lamb MP. Attendees will include Clive Lewis MP, Chloe Smith MP, Rehman Chishti MP, Kevan Jones MP, Andrew Mitchell MP, Lord Alan Howarth and Baroness Hollins.
Change Minds has just had a major exhibition at the Forum in Norwich, launched with an event attended by the Sheriff of Norwich, the Chairman of Norfolk County Council and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, with media in the Eastern Daily Press, on BBC Radio Norfolk and Future Radio. Visited by more than 1,000 people, comments included: ‘Really fascinating – revisiting themes that impact on mental health just as relevant today – poverty, family relationship breakdown, isolation, alcohol use: ‘Brilliant, we need to do more of this, ALL of us. Mental illness is not shameful.’
Director of the Restoration Trust Laura Drysdale says: ‘We’re delighted that Change Minds participants have the opportunity to tell national politicians and decision makers about the difference this successful archives and mental health project has made to their lives. We are really grateful to the project’s patron Norman Lamb MP for hosting us at the Houses of Parliament.’
The Restoration Trust’s culture therapy projects at Norfolk Record Office, Burgh Castle, Norwich Arts Centre, Stonehenge and Avebury help people with serious mental health problems enjoy heritage, art and culture in a safe, effective way.
“We need to make a vital cultural shift to help us ensure that the arts are fully embedded in the health and social care system.”
Rt Hon. John Glen MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
For more information about Change Minds and the Restoration Trust contact
Laura Drysdale: firstname.lastname@example.org | 07740844883