Change Minds is a transformative archival adventure for people from North Norfolk and Norwich who live with mental health conditions and are on low incomes, carers, volunteers and staff. Researching two digitised 19th Century Norfolk County Asylum Case Books at Norfolk Record Office and Norwich Millennium Library, Change Minds engages local people and online visitors in the stories it reveals during a fascinating investigation into local heritage, mental health and identity.

Supported by Norfolk Record Office and mental health professionals, so far 2 groups of 16 people have followed the same process in successive years. In Term 1 participants research someone encountered in the Case Books, track them online through census records in their local library and visit Norwich Castle Study Centre. Term 2 explores history and identity in creative workshops at Belfry Arts Centre, Overstrand or Oddfellows Hall, Sheringham. In Term 3, trained by Norfolk Sound Archive, participants make an oral history and web archive of their research and visit Gressenhall Museum. Finally both cohorts come together to create exhibitions at The Forum Norwich, Norfolk Record Office, Oddfellows Hall and online. A House of Commons reception hosted by our Patron, Norman Lamb MP, celebrates people’s achievements. Our digital outputs remain online, for everyone.

In 2018 a new group will complete the Change Minds project at Norwich Millennium Library.

3D reconstruction of Norfolk Lunatic Asylum on Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew, as it might have looked in the 1880s. The reconstruction is based on plans and drawings by the County Surveyor prior to refurbishment in the 1860s.  It also calls on a range of photographic and documentary evidence of late 19th Century Asylum life. 

A partnership between the Restoration Trust, Norfolk Record Office and Together for Mental Wellbeing, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Change Minds runs from June 2015 until December 2017.

Contact Helen Sabberton, Change Minds Coordinator, for more information:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone 01603 222599/07470 429692

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© Change Minds 2017