Skip to main content
Solent Unviersity Southampton Logo


This UKRI MARCH Network Plus funded project, carried out between November 2020 and May 2021, saw an expert panel develop best practice guidelines for organisations offering heritage projects as interventions for people who live with mental health issues. This was achieved through a Delphi process, which utilised the skills of those with lived experience of mental health issues as well as mental health and heritage professionals equally, bringing together their expertise to create a practical and beneficial tool based on real-life experience.

Ten thematic areas were developed under three procedural headings: Project Development, Project Delivery, and Project Follow-up. A particular focus for the guidelines concerned aspects of safeguarding, understanding risk, and duty of care, as well as the expertise that should be brought into the project delivery in terms of the appropriate management of both heritage/ historic environment asset, and mental health.

It is hoped that these guidelines can assist all organisations, big or small, funded or not funded, in the delivery of safe projects that support the mental health of those involved, as well as enhancing and protecting the historic environment that provides the setting for these interventions.

Discover more about the project:

Meet the project team

karen-burnell-200Dr Karen Burnell, Solent University: Principal Investigator
Karen specialises in applied psychology, with a particular focus on veteran studies, psychogerontology, mental health and wellbeing, and research methodologies. Over the years, Karen has explored the role of social support in mental health and wellbeing and, more specifically, peer support, and has evaluated community-based interventions for veterans. At the heart of all of Karen’s research is the exploration of informal support networks and psychosocial interventions.

louise-baxter-200Dr Louise Baxter, Bournemouth University: Co-Investigator
Louise is a lecturer in the sociology of health and illness at Bournemouth University, and is a co-investigator on the NIHR Common Health Assets project, which is evaluating how community led organisations impact the health and wellbeing of people living in deprived areas. Prior to this she was a Research Associate in Mental Health at the UKRI MARCH Mental Health Research Network, exploring the role of community assets in mental health.

Dr Kathryn Watson, Co-Researcher
Kathryn is a research assistant at Kings Improvement Science (KIS), Kings College London. She is passionate about applied health research, mental health and the value of lived experience. She has a background in clinical medicine and worked as a GP specialist trainee. She holds a BSc in Immunity and Infection, and a PhD in microbiology from Imperial College London. Prior to joining KIS, Kathryn worked as a researcher at Solent University on a mental health and heritage project, in research communications at the McPin Foundation and as a peer support tutor at City and Hackney Recovery College. She also successfully self-published ‘my illustrated mind: cards for honest conversations about feelings’ via Kickstarter in 2021. This is an illustrated card deck that can be used as an educational, communication and therapeutic aid. 

paul-everill-200Dr Paul Everill, University of Winchester: Co-Investigator
Paul has been involved in archaeology since his first experience of an excavation at the age of 16. Since discovering a passion for the subject he has studied and worked in the discipline in a wide variety of roles, before heading down an academic career path in 2008. Paul has co-directed the Anglo-Georgian Expedition to Nokalakevi, in collaboration with colleagues from the Georgian National Museum and National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, since 2002.

eva-makri-200Eva Makri, Solent University: Reseach Associate
Eva has a background in social research. She has experience analysing results relating to visitor experience for heritage organisations such as the National Trust. She was also involved in NHS projects analysing view seeking and consultation results and offering recommendations on how to improve local mental health services. 

Project report and guidelines

To easily access the guidelines, please download the summary project report.
This presents key information about the project and the guidelines in a checklist format.

To get more detailed information, please download the full project report.
This presents detailed information abou the methodology along with detailed findings, as well as the guidelines.

Complete the follow-up survey

To help us understand how these guidelines are being used, and to learn from their application in a range of different settings, it’s really important for us to have your feedback. This is a voluntary but really helpful element of the ongoing evaluation of these guidelines. Learn more about the survey by clicking on the image below.

Take our survey

Want to get even more involved?

Join our SIG

Previous questionnaires

Take a look at the previous Delphi questionnaires that helped form the basis of the guidelines:


Panel members

  • Dickie Bennett, Director of Services, Breaking Ground Heritage
  • Katie Buckley, Chief Operating Officer, Waterloo Uncovered
  • Dr Stephen Calver
  • Dr Karina Croucher
  • Laura Drysdale, Director, the Restoration Trust
  • Liz Ellis, Policy Project Manager, National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • Mark Evans, CEO, Waterloo Uncovered
  • Dr Kathryn Fielden CPsychol
  • Joe Flatman, Consultancy Manager, The National Trust
  • Hollie French
  • Jan Hawkins-Kitson, Social Prescriber
  • Stephen Humphreys PhD RPA, CEO, American Veterans Archaeological Recovery
  • Mrs Naiomi Kempton, National Heritage Policy Advisor, Canal & River Trust
  • Briony Lalor, Operation Nightingale and Breaking Ground Heritage
  • Janice Lobban, Senior Art Psychotherapist, Combat Stress
  • Professor Dominic Murphy, Head of Research at Combat Stress and President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society
  • Rev'd Barbara Jane O'Sullivan, Church of the Guardian Angel, Baltimore MD, USA
  • Richard Osgood, Senior Archaeologist DIO (MOD)
  • Tony Pollard, Professor of Conflict History and Archaeology, University of Glasgow, and Academic Lead, Waterloo Uncovered
  • Lt Col Michelle Richardson, Defence Archaeology Group (DAG)
  • Jenny Shepherd, Research and Impact Manager, Canal & River Trust
  • Dr Linda JM Thomson, Senior Research Fellow, University College London
  • Mr David Ulke, Wellbeing Officer for Waterloo Uncovered
  • Zoë Umpleby BA(Hons) MA, Museum Professional, PhD researcher at the University of Winchester
  • Associate Professor Ben Wadham, Director Open Door Veteran Transition Integration Wellbeing Research Initiative, Flinders University SA
  • Giles Woodhouse, Chief Strategy Officer, Wessex Archaeology and doctoral student at the Institute of Policy Research, University of Bath

project partners