Today, September 29, 2018: Hosting a Council meeting of SEBDA, the Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Association. SEBDA began life in 1951 as the Association of Workers for Maladjusted Children, or AWMC. We have a rich array of AWMC/SEBDA materials, including recordings of annual David Wills Lectures, photographs, and formal archives. Among them is this 1971 letter from Red Hill School founder and AWMC Chair Otto Shaw to Robert Laslett. Robert was an immensely important and influential PETT Trustee, and founding spark for the Archive and Study Centre. His influence in SEBDA and within the field of therapeutic child care more generally is indicated by his commemoration with David Wills in the annual SEBDA Wills/Laslett Lecture.

And look at those founding names!


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Where is the biography for all these people?


“working for therapeutic environments”

25 July 2018

Trustee Communication about PETT and the Future

As you are all well aware, in light of an extremely challenging financial position, for some time now the Planned Environment Therapy Trust has been searching for a new way forward to protect the legacy of the Archive which has been created over the course of 30 years.

We hope that you will welcome the positive news, as PETT Trustees did, that the Mulberry Bush Organisation (MBO) have made a commitment to take responsibility for the Planned Environment Therapy Archive, for the National Child Care Library and for the Toddington site. Their determination is to secure a viable long term on site presence.

PETT Trustees have given careful consideration to the opportunities and benefits that will be made available to the sector through such an arrangement. We particularly considered feedback from our many supporters and current users, and importantly of the feasibility to achieve alternative options to secure a future for the Archive and Study Centre within the financial timeframe available.

The Mulberry Bush Organisation’s commitment is based on a robust 3 year Business Plan they have produced. This has identified and secured necessary investment and resources that will seek to establish sustainable futures for the Archive and National Child Care Library whilst it remains on site in Toddington, with a commitment to ensure generous access to the collections.

In order to enact this transfer to the MBO it is necessary that PETT will be wound up as a Charity and that in preparation for a new beginning the site will close for a period of several months early in 2019. We greatly appreciate the loss that some of you will feel over the departure from the sector of PETT as a Charity that has contributed so much over its more than 50 years of existence and activity. As all recognised while at our most recent Gathering the Archive can only be viable into the future if it is based on a sound, sustainable business model. PETT Trustees feel passionately about securing just such a future for this eminently important resource, and they are confident that the MBO is hugely committed precisely to this outcome as well. Moreover, the MBO are equally resolved to support the Archive and library to reach its fullest potential in providing even greater value to the nation and beyond.

From now, therefore, and through the autumn months PETT will work to prepare a safe and secure handover, aiming for our formal closure at the end of December 2018. We shall continue to need and welcome your support through these months, and we will be in touch frequently from September to keep you fully informed and to involve you wherever possible. In late Autumn we will hold and welcome you to an event to celebrate PETT’s many achievements and its contributions to the sector. We do hope that you will work and travel alongside us to ensure ongoing support to secure a future that preserves the Archive and site for many more years to come.

If you would like to make contact in regard to this news, please do so via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please be aware that many of the team are on leave during August, but we will be in touch as soon as possible if we are not able to respond immediately.

Once more, we thank you for all the interest and support you have shown over recent months and years. We have greatly appreciated it.

Trustees: Rosemary Lilley (Chair), Alan Fox, Bob Hinshelwood, Linnet McMahon, John Moorhouse, Cate Davidson (Treasurer). Executive Director: Richard Rollinson.

Long-standing Trustee, Chair and Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, John Cross, died on July 10th, 2017. To mark the day, his sister Sybil and her husband Eric, with the support of John's other sister, Cynthia (a former Trustee and Chair of Trustees who could not be here), brought flowers for the site of the commemorative camelia under which John's ashes are buried, and placed roses under John's photograph and plaque in the Trust's large meeting room.

flowers and plaque


flowers inside

There is more to come - keep your eyes out for a fuller report.  But in the meantime,  just a very quick and a very big THANKYOU! to all of the Team who joined us on Friday, June 29th, for our "What Do We Do Now?! (not the official title)" event. Inspirational, enlivening, productive. What great people we have within the PETT community!

king d 29 06 2018 001 printPhotograph by Doug King.

Although a member of the Team on the day, Doug King and Aggie Forster of Braziers Park are not in the  photograph. He, because he was taking it; she because she had had to leave earlier. Together they complete the magnificent 24.



The Planned Environment Therapy Trust

May 1st 2018


 Across the ha-ha and the barn, to the church beyond:

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The beginning of the path through the wood:

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The end of the path through the wood:

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Is history in the beginning, the ending, or in the journey?

Following the June 29th "What Do We Do Now (not the official title!)" event - see here for more details - a PETT team consisting of Chair Rosemary Lilley, Executive Director Rich Rollinson, Transition Project Manager Fiona Talwar-Lomberg, and archivist Craig Fees travelled over to Braziers Park in Oxfordshire on Tuesday, the 3rd of July. Invited by Brazier's Aggie Forster, and meeting with Brazier's Treasurer Cliff Jordan, it was the first fruit of the June 29th meeting. In the words of Transition Project Manager Fiona, the PETT team "found an appetite to explore how we can go about working collectively to build a stronger future for all."

braziers 2018 07 03 02Braziers is a beautiful and very old house set in extensive grounds and fields, but it is far more than that. Historically and philosophically, PETT and Braziers Park are cousins, descending from shared roots in the significant social experiments of Grith Fyrd and the Q Camps Committee of the 1920s and 30s.

Q Camps grew out of Grith Fyrd (Anglo-Saxon "Peace Army"), which was a self-help and self-sufficiency, camp-based organisation. Grith Fyrd, or Grith Pioneers, was created in the years leading up to the Second World War as a practical response to the devastating impact of the Great Depression, which itself rolled out of the immense trauma of the First World War. The Q Camps organisation was created in the early 1930s to work with men who were far too damaged and disturbed for the Grith Fyrd Camps, and in its Hawkspur Camp - immortalised in PETT Founding Trustee David Wills' book, "The Hawkspur Experiment" - demonstrated a way of living and working which had a significant, recognised influence on the post-war Therapeutic Community movement. AND brought psychoanalyst and paediatrician Donald Winnicott directly into the work with residential therapeutic child care, in which his influence has been so immense (see here).

PETT is what is called a successor organisation to the Q Camps Committee - we inherited their archives and their residual funds, and all three founding Trustees were closely involved together at Hawkspur, and were members of the Q Camps Committee. Dr. Norman Glaister was also a member of the Q Camps Committee. After the War he bought Braziers Park, and in 1950 established the Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research there. To get a sense of some of the connections and convergences with PETT, it is worth reading Brazier's information about itself (for their website as such, see here):

Braziers Park, School of Integrative Social Research (BPSISR) is a Specially Authorised Friendly Society, registered with the FCA, and Charity Commission Registered as Friends of Braziers (Charity No. 1042429). We are a community, an adult educational institution, and venue hire business that has sustainable aims for public benefit. Due to the nature of our organisation as an integrative social research institution, and our ever-changing cohort of members and residents, our aims, courses and events are constantly changing and developing. Briefly and widely, we are concerned with process – how is it we, as a society, contribute to social issues? What can we do to address this?

We are committed to being a community of diverse minds and backgrounds so that we can develop holistic and sustainable reasoning, living, and thinking to address environment, social, and personal issues that affect our society.



Above right: Braziers from the summer house

Below: The entrance hall

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One of many spaces for reflective sitting, and group discussions.

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Listed, and evocative of possibilities.

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The milking parlour - built to be cool all year round (and it is!). One of many places Braziers' fascinating archives could perhaps be stored.

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Members of the PETT team making their way back from the milking parlour to the main house, past orchard, abundant walled garden, glass houses, and fertile vegetable plots.

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The dining room, where community and visitors eat together, and where much from the gardens ends up.

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Through an 18th century window; an older house built around a much older core.

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