Founded over 30 years ago, the pioneers Dr David McGavin and art therapist Hazel Adams recognised the important role of community and environment for healing and recovery.
We work together, whether we are at Blackthorn as a co-worker, a volunteer or a member of staff, to create a safe environment to share stories, make new friends and support each other.
We use our person-centred approach to help people who are at particular points of crisis in their lives. We provide tailored programmes for people suffering with mental illness and chronic pain.
To find out about our programmes and how to access them, click here.


We offer a wide range of socially therapeutic workshops that provide not only routine and structure, but also a forum in which to gain confidence, develop skills and establish a sense of order and control.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of our biodynamic garden – which is also used therapeutically – our workshops provide the opportunity to spend time in a pleasing physical environment that stimulate the senses, create a connection with nature and encourage the development of creative abilities that may have been dormant or previously undiscovered.
Our workshop leaders also act as mentors to our co-workers, helping them to get the most out of Blackthorn by ensuring that they are in the appropriate workshops, drafting in extra therapeutic help if needed and through an on-going dialogue that supports co-workers as they navigate their way towards their individual goals.
Workshops currently include:
• Cooking and baking
• Crafts and stained glass
• Garden and plant nursery
• Working in the café and kitchen Art
The items produced in the workshops are sold to the public, so the work of each individual has not only a therapeutic benefit to them but also contributes towards sustaining the project for the future.


We offer a range of Steiner-based therapies at Blackthorn Trust which can be drawn upon to help people to overcome the challenges they are facing. Each therapy works in a different way, and will be selected according to the needs of the individual.
Art Therapy
Anthroposophical Art Therapy seeks to strengthen and support the inherent forces of health which have been displaced by illness. It tends to harmonise imbalances by transforming deeply ingrained habits and awakening new faculties of imagination. The artistic process can bring about new insights and self-knowledge, as well as the development of new qualities like patience, confidence and a stronger sense of self. No previous experience or ability is required as the therapeutic effects lie more in the doing than the final result, and the activity itself works in subtle ways to restore inner balance and health to the physical body.
Biographical Counselling
Biographical Counselling aims to help people in life crises build new strength to meet the challenges that life presents them with. It works with the past, present and future, understanding that the past and future reach far beyond one particular lifetime. In this way, the biographical counsellor helps create a space in which the richness of human life can be worked with so that new forces for growth and development can be liberated. Through this process a person will gain a wider perspective of their own story. From this new perspective they are then able to see the repetition of patterns, the transformative movements, as well as the forgotten talents, and crisis then becomes an opportunity for learning and growth.
CranioSacral Therapy
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle but potent way of working with the body using a light touch. It helps to release tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction, improving whole-body health and performance. Delicate, precise and effective techniques are used to release body tissues in any problems areas (people remain fully clothed during CST sessions). In general CST can improve our body’s ability to take better care of us.
Eurythmy Therapy
Eurythmy Therapy is an active movement therapy. Though well able to accommodate people’s disabilities, as it may be carried out standing, sitting and even in bed. Eurythmy offers a chance to learn the benefits of moving in a mindful manner to restore inner balance and calm. Using rhymes, poetry and music, the individual will experience how rhythm works to dispel anxiety and promote well-being. Participating in this movement helps to establish harmony in the totality of our being and in our relationship to the world.
Metal Colour Light Therapy
Metal Colour Light Therapy was developed in Germany by Marianne Altmaier. This unique therapy uses panels of etched hand-crafted glass mixed with metal oxides and sulphates to improve the well-being of people suffering from a number of ailments including chronic pain, anxiety and sleep problems.
Rhythmical Massage Therapy
Rhythmical Massage Therapy (RMT) is a remedial form of of massage that uses a gentle, rhythmical, breathing quality of touch which can penetrate the tissue quite deeply. The movements are rounded with an element of suction rather than pressure. RMT can be beneficial in a wide range of conditions of a physical or psychological nature. It brings about change, to find new development and inner growth and seeks to help activate an individual’s own healing forces.