Explore, imagine and share tales of life in Norfolk with a mental health condition, a hundred years ago and today.

Change Minds is a new project about history, mental health and creativity. Run by The Restoration Trust in partnership with Norfolk Record Office and Together in North Norfolk and funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it will be fascinating, challenging, safe and fun.

The Restoration Trust helps people with mental health conditions engage with art, culture and heritage – we call it Culture Therapy. Find out more about us at www.restorationtrust.org.uk

What will I be doing?

You will be supported to join a welcoming group of people including carers, volunteers and support workers who will go to Norfolk Record Office and use the archives to investigate historical records of patients in St Andrews Hospital (Norfolk County Asylum). You will follow these patients through time using the online census in your local library and the millions of documents at Norfolk Record Office.

You will join creative writing and photography workshops at Belfry Arts Centre in Overstrand and record an account of your experience of Change Minds for Norfolk Sound Archive. You will visit Gressenhall Museum, create exhibitions at Belfry Arts Centre, local libraries, Norfolk Record Office and The Forum, and invite people to previews and celebrations.

You will make a book and an e-book, and you will get a certificate and reference. Finally, you will attend a House of Commons reception hosted by Norman Lamb MP.

When will we meet?

You will meet fortnightly on Thursday mornings from 10 – 1 for 15 sessions altogether. The meetings are in term time from October to July and the first meeting is on Thursday October 1st 2015, at Norfolk Record Office. The programme will run twice, once in 2015-2016 and again in 2016-2017 for new participants. At the end of the second year the two groups will meet to host joint exhibitions and celebrations.

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How will I be supported?

Our Coordinator Helen Sabberton is a qualified Mental Health Nurse. It is her job to support you. You can come with a carer if that will help you enjoy the project and your Together Wellbeing Worker will bring you to the first session. All Change Minds staff and volunteers are trained in good mental health practice. The Project Board that runs Change Minds includes two service users, a Clinical Psychologist and a retired psychiatrist. Staff supervision, reflective practice and risk management are built into the project.

How can I be sure that what I say will be confidential?

Change Minds operates under all the partners’ data protection and confidentiality policies and practices. Your recording for Norfolk Sound Archive can be protected for many years –  you could decide that no-one can listen to it for 100 years. You will be asked for your consent for photography, filming, social media and research. If you do not agree, you can still be part of Change Minds.

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What is the evaluation and research programme?

Evaluation by Dr Vicky Scaife, a Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, looks at how well Change Minds works as a community heritage project. Research by the local mental health service looks at how well exploring history and identity through archives helps people’s health and wellbeing.
The evaluation and research conforms to NHS, University of East Anglia and Norfolk County Council ethics procedures. It is your choice whether or not to take part in the evaluation and research. If you decide not to, you can still take part in Change Minds.

How much will it cost?

Nothing. Change Minds is free for participants and carers.

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How will I get there?

We will make sure that you get to sessions and events at no cost to yourself. If you drive you will be reimbursed for your petrol and parking, and you will be reimbursed for public transport fares.

What happens if I don’t feel well?

During a session you can go to a designated break out room. If you can’t make it to a session Helen will keep in touch until you can come again.

What happens if I drop out?

You can leave at any time. It will not affect your care from Together or the mental health services.

What happens if my support with Together ends?

You can still come to Change Minds.

What happens if something goes wrong?

If you are unhappy about something to do with Change Minds, please get in touch with Laura Drysdale, the Director of the Restoration Trust, who will try and resolve the issue with you. Contact Laura Drysdale, by phone on 01263 519454, or email laura@restorationtrust.org.uk