Mum up for top award for genius ‘therapy’ idea which boosts mental health

Mental-health worker Laura Drysdale knows the importance of looking into the past to help people move forward.

What’s unusual is just how far back she goes – in some cases centuries.

Laura, 62, is founder of the Restoration Trust. Based in Cromer, Norfolk, the National Lottery-funded charity uses ancient British heritage sites and museums as a way to help overcome the debilitating effects of mental illness.

“Our members deal with the gamut of emotions, from low self-esteem to suicidal thoughts,” says Laura. 

Laura worked as a textile conservator, repairing textiles for museums, and then for English Heritage, before retraining as a mental health support worker in her late 40s. She had herself once suffered from anxiety and depression.

“When I was battling poor mental health, I felt terribly lonely and under a huge amount of stress. I overcame it with the help of psychotherapy sessions.

Thanks to National Lottery players, around £30M a week is funding good causes across the country.

To nominate someone for a 2020 National Lottery Award simply complete an entry form at Remember all nominees must work or act for a National Lottery-funded organisation or have received National Lottery funding.

Entries must be received by midnight on 19th August 2020.

“Some people here have had cataclysmic losses in terms of work and family. We have women who have suffered serious domestic abuse, and we also deal with people who have been homeless.

“British heritage belongs to us all, but if you’re poor or disadvantaged it’s hard to access it.

“We use what we call ‘culture therapy’ to break down these barriers. Members get out, take notice of their surroundings and share stories and advice with each other.”

The charity’s Burgh Castle project in Great Yarmouth includes mindfulness walks and art sessions at the 3rd-century Saxon fort. Thanks to National Lottery players, around £30million a week is raised for good causes across the UK like the Restoration Trust.

Now Laura has been nominated for a National Lottery Award for her work keeping the charity’s services running during the pandemic. 

“We have met weekly during lockdown, and we’ve been posting out creative challenges to members to keep them connected and motivated,” says Laura. “I was delighted to discover I’d been nominated for the award. It’s fantastic that our charity has been recognised for addressing this gap in society.”

If you know someone who has done similarly invaluable work and you think is deserving of a National Lottery Award, be sure to visit and nominate them now.

Visit Restoration Trust for more information on its fantastic National Lottery-funded work.

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