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Heritage and Health Project 


Welcome to our new Heritage Engagement Officer


As we temporarily close our doors to the public planning for the Heritage and Health project continues. Ruthie Boys our new Heritage Engagement Officer explains what has been happening and how you can still get involved.


“Hello all, my name is Ruthie and I am the Heritage Engagement Officer for Aurora’s Heritage and Health Project. One of the key aims of this unique project is to ensure heritage activities have a direct, positive impact on the wellbeing of those involved. It is my role to organise and plan activities and support people to participate in a variety of ways.


I was in my post for such a short time before the centre closed its doors and I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself to everybody or to put in motion our exciting plans. As we adapt to the current challenges I am certain new and creative ideas and solutions will emerge, as we work on ways to bring the project to you and ensure it is unaffected and ready to re-start when the doors of the centre re-open. I want to reassure you that the project hasn’t stopped and neither has our enthusiasm for it.


We want you to stay on this journey with us so we have created new heritage pages on the Aurora Wellbeing website. They give you more details about the project and how to get involved – the activities planned, the growing project team, the new volunteer roles, the emerging research about how heritage can positively affect wellbeing and more. We welcome you to have a look and stay connected to us digitally by keeping in touch.


If you head over to the 'Aurora Heritage and Health at Home' pages you can get involved now. We have moved a number of the activities online and you will find a range of projects, mini challenges and more to do during this time.


You may be interested in joining us and creating an 'Aurora Collection' in our Virtual Museum by sharing with us a photograph of a special object to you. You may prefer to do one of our Virtual Missions inspired by the five ways to wellbeing. You may like to have a go at one of the Creative Sessions, easy to do activities for the whole family. Alternatively, you may want to add your photographs to the Our Worksop Photo Wall. There are many activities to choose from and more added each week, and we hope you find something to enjoy and share. 


As we begin to slowly emerge into the community this project feels more important than ever as we continue to find ways to support, maintain and improve our wellbeing. I look forward to the time when we can come together and get stuck into the activities and I can say hello in person and re-introduce you to this project personally. In the meantime thank you for your continued support and thank you to all National Lottery players, without them this exciting project couldn’t happen.”


Get in touch to say hello and let me know what you are looking forward to the most about the project. Ruthie Boys  heritage@aurorawellbeing.org.uk

Heritage and Health: Returning the heritage to the Old Library & Museum, Worksop


Thanks to National Lottery players, the Old Library and Museum building is to be transformed to its former glory with a £1.56 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.


Work on an ambitious plan to regenerate this key historic Grade II listed building is set to begin this year. The project will create a dedicated heritage area at the centre, including physical displays and an innovative virtual museum to tell the story of the Old Library and Museum throughout the decades.


Aurora aims to engage people living with cancer and their families with heritage to support their wellbeing and the local community. This includes an innovative new activities programme, giving people an opportunity to connect with the history of Worksop.


The project will:

  • Renovate, conserve and restore a significant heritage building creating a multi-purpose centre
  • Create a new space within the centre for the people of Worksop to celebrate their heritage including physical displays and an innovative virtual museum to tell the stories of the Old Library and Museum.
  • Develop heritage activity, volunteer programmes and partnerships to significantly broaden opportunities for engagement with local people and users of the centre.
  • Develop innovative work exploring heritage and health.


The restoration, repair and conservation of the locally valued Old Library and Museum building will make a significant impact on the conserved heritage of Worksop, ensuring its use for future generations. The Old Library and Museum was designed in a Moderne style, using Art Deco and Classical elements, by J. Haslam, a local architect. The interior was neatly divided between the museum to the east and library to the west.


The development of Britain’s library service owes a lot to Worksop Library. It opened years before the introduction of the 1850 Public Libraries Act which first gave the power to establish free public libraries. During the First World War, books were distributed to branches by the librarian on his motorcycle because of a shortage of petrol. This scheme proved successful and was used in the rest of the county. In 1928, the library became the Worksop Library and Museum but in 1932, it had to close because of flood damage. A purpose-built new museum and library opened in 1938, which is the building that this project focuses on.


The museum closed in 1983, and the building finally closed as a library in 2010, when the council began to seek a new purpose for the building. Aurora moved into the building in 2012.


Chris Wanless, the charity’s chairman, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The Wellbeing Centre has given the town a central hub for the community, working in partnership with the Local Council, College, Library and heritage partners to provide a wide range of services. Whilst our central commitment remains to support people undergoing their Cancer journey, our location in Worksop allows us to provide a wider range of services and interact and interface with other vital aspects of community, such as heritage and connections to heritage, to improve wellbeing for all.”


Debra Fores, manager of the centre, said, “Our services and the daily work of the centre rely heavily on the efforts of our vital local volunteers. Without their efforts, we would not be able to offer the breadth of services we currently provide. The money we have now secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund is crucial to our longer term vision to remain a key service for the locality of Bassetlaw, providing innovative and supportive services to the community. It will allow both the heritage and charitable work of Aurora to grow alongside each other productively and go from strength to strength.”

Support us now at Local Giving

The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Below are a list of useful links;



Doncaster Council

Cancer Buddies Scheme

Prostate Cancer


Dial Doncaster

Disability Support

Breast Cancer


Bassetlaw Museum

Click on the image to find more useful links.

Aurora Wellbeing Centres

Registered Charity 1166462

Tel: 03000 111 202

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