The Ladysbridge Hospital Project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Project Ability and C-Change have received £40,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Ladysbridge Hospital Project, in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Led by a project team managed by Project Ability and C-Change, the project focuses on the heritage of people with learning disabilities living in Aberdeenshire and nationally.

The project will enable people with learning disabilities who had lived at Ladysbridge Hospital in Banff, research the history of the hospital and the social history of people with learning disabilities and changing social conditions. Working with professional artists and supported by social care staff, the NHS Grampian Archivist and leading learning disability advocacy services, people with learning disabilities will share their stories in words and pictures to build a unique archive.

Ladysbridge Hospital was opened in 1865 and closed in 2003 and as many ex-patients had connections to the local area they remain to this day in and around Aberdeen having for the most part moved into their own accommodation. These people are now in their fifties, sixties and older and they want their stories to be documented and shared with their community. The project launch is on Tuesday 16th May, at Aberdeen Arts Centre and Theatre and is taking place to mark Learning Disability Week 2017. It is an opportunity to reflect on how the lives of people with learning disabilities in Scotland changed and how we can learn lessons from the past.

Commenting on the award, Elisabeth Gibson, Executive Director, Project Ability said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The story of how people with learning disabilities were treated in the not too distant past is a timely reminder of how much society has changed and how people with learning disabilities contribute to our communities.”
Sheryl Walker, PR & Projects Development Manager, C-Change said “We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery has provided the opportunity for C-Change and Project Ability to collaborate on a 2nd social history project. Ladysbridge Hospital is key part of Aberdeenshire's history and this project will help to raise awareness of how learning disability perception and policy has evolved over the years. It will be a privilege working with some of the ex-residents of Ladysbridge to share their personal memories of their experience of life in the hospital.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to help communities learn about and take pride in their local heritage as well as training in new skills. Learning about history can be rewarding, fascinating and fun, and the story of Ladysbridge Hospital, Banff is no exception.”

(Images from the Lennox Castle Project)

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