Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) partnered with Pallant House Gallery, University of Chichester and West Sussex Record Office to engage local people with the history of Graylingwell Hospital and create a lasting legacy for this former hospital which was being redeveloped into residential housing.
The hospital’s patient records were digitally catalogued and preserved by an archivist and two volunteers at West Sussex Record Office so that a volunteer team from the University, working with a community historian, could research Graylingwell’s history.
[quote]‘I think it has brought a wider community together and helped a lot of individuals on their journeys.’[/quote]
An oral history coordinator trained 35 volunteers who interviewed former patients, staff and families about their memories of Graylingwell. 50 interviews were also digitised and archived and a series of case histories were published in a booklet.
A creative team worked with former patients, running art workshops that enabled them to respond to the research and oral testimonies.
This two-year project concluded in four exhibitions at partner sites including Graylingwell.
All staff and volunteers were trained in mental health awareness, research ethics and safeguarding.