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Charity Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £99,900 for an innovative project in partnership with Hampshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) to support young people finding it hard to manage their mental health. ICE Heritage will run over two years and will work with young people waiting for treatment, receiving therapy or who have been recently discharged from Hampshire CAMHS.

Through access to local heritage and by engaging in high-quality activity, ICE - Inspire, Create, Exchange - Heritage aims to promote positive mental health, provide longer term opportunities for young people by using creativity to build emotional resilience and bring attention to what museums can do to provide positive support for more young people.

The ICE Heritage project is a collaboration between Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire CAMHS, provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. ICE Heritage follows on from The ICE Project, a successful project that ran from January 2017 to January 2020 using the arts as a positive way for young people to acquire skills and express themselves, with the resulting positive impact on both their psychological health and emotional wellbeing.

ICE Heritage aims to address and explore important mental health issues in young people using creative engagement with local heritage. It will also work with artists to explore themes such as identity and self-care, creating exhibitions to share with local communities.

Cat Cooke, Community Programmes Manager at Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented: “We are delighted to have received this support thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and are confident the project will support young people across Hampshire to engage with heritage and creative projects.”

Helen Dove, Innovation and Participation Lead for CAMHS in Hampshire, said: “Hampshire CAMHS are pleased to be working alongside Hampshire Cultural Trust on another programme for young people. We have already seen so many positive changes and impact from the previous ICE project and we are looking forward to continuing this work for another two years through heritage and arts.”

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a key element of the project will be to measure the impact that it has on young people’s wellbeing. For each phase or project group, there will be three stages: Inspire - an inspiration point in the museums and their collections; Create - a participation phase such as regular workshops with professional artists or heritage practitioners; and finally, Exchange – an opportunity for young people to showcase their work and celebrate local heritage.

Hampshire Cultural Trust was established in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a great cultural county. The trust manages 23 arts and museum attractions, delivers county-wide outreach programmes that bring culture to local communities and cares for 2.5 million objects relating to Hampshire’s rich and internationally important heritage. HCT importantly, delivers a diverse range of social impact initiatives targeted at those who are most vulnerable and who would not usually have access to arts and culture.