Hellingly Centre opens doors with photography exhibition

Staff and patients are inviting residents to see an exhibition at the Hellingly Centre this weekend SUS-170324-142740001
Staff and patients are inviting residents to see an exhibition at the Hellingly Centre this weekend SUS-170324-142740001
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Sussex residents are being invited to find out more about the history of Hellingly Hospital at photography exhibition by patients and staff.

The exhibition, which is open to the public tomorrow (Saturday, March 25), is about the history of Hellingly Hospital, a renowned local landmark which opened in 1903 as the East Sussex County Asylum. The exhibition will chart the history of the unit, and mental health provision, from 1903 to the present day.

The hospital is now the Hellingly Centre, a modern medium secure mental health unit offering rehabilitation and recovery to people with mental health problems who have had contact with the criminal justice system. It is run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which works across Sussex, Hampshire and Kent.

Staff have worked with patients and local residents to uncover old photographs and stories about the Hellingly site for the exhibition. On the day staff, patients and former residents will be available to talk about their experiences of the Hellingly Centre through the decades.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition, Occupational Therapist Janet Woodhouse said: “There is a huge amount of interest in the Hellingly Centre and its history. We have had local residents ask what was in the place of their house before it was built and what the hospital used to do.

“This exhibition is just one of the ways we work with patients to find ways to support their recovery by finding the thing that sparks their interest to help them engage with treatment and prepare for life outside the hospital.”

The exhibition is open to the public on March 26 on the site of the Hellingly Centre at The Drive, Hellingly.

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