Investing in heritage for wellbeing
What is wellbeing?
We use evidence from the What Works Centre, which describes wellbeing as ‘how we’re doing’ – on an individual level, community level and collectively across the UK, and how sustainable that is for the future.
Wellbeing sums up our feelings of contentment, enjoyment and self-confidence which leads to strong relationships and engagement with the world around us.
Heritage is about that feeling of belonging, knowing that this is your place and understanding how your history fits within wider history. It is a part of being human.
Laura Drysdale, Director of the Restoration Trust, leading on the Water Mills and Marshes Landscape Partnership project.
Heritage’s role in wellbeing
Heritage can build connectedness to where you live, to people around you or to a community online. It can support individual confidence and self-esteem, and provide opportunities to be mentally and physically active.
Heritage can also help us find meaning and purpose in our lives. Both are significant aspects in how we experience wellbeing.
- volunteering activities at heritage sites to combat loneliness
- visiting land and nature to get some fresh air and improve mental health
- creative courses or learning opportunities to build knowledge and skills – such as museum collection handling sessions
- co-producing heritage events, for example young people-led activities at heritage sites
Find out more in our wellbeing guidance.
Here are some of the inspirational projects we’ve funded from across the UK that support wellbeing. If you've got an idea, we'd love to hear from you.
Our funding is helping the Menter y Plu Community Benefit Society plan how to save and re-develop a Grade II listed pub – Y Plu.
Improved access and support for the community means that more people can discover this diverse natural landscape.
The founders of Boots and Beards are using their love for Scotland’s outdoors to bring together the wider South Asian community.
This project used heritage as a lens to engage a wider range of people, while developing skills in research, financial planning, personal care and wellbeing.
Repairs to the building will reduce the church's energy footprint and create a vibrant community hub focused on conservation and wellbeing.
£2.2million has been awarded to create a new green community hub in Penzance, housing 200 years of Cornwall’s natural heritage and a sensory garden.
A £454,000 grant is enabling people to enjoy improved access to the Grade II listed historic park in Cardiff.