Health and Wellbeing: benefits of membership of MALHG

There can be no doubt about the massive need for new support in this area. There are up to 6 million people in England who experience the crippling effects of anxiety and depression, three quarters of whom receive no treatment. One in four people with mental ill health in any one year is a familiar statistic, but the harsh reality is that poor mental health ruins lives. Feelings of loneliness and feelings of disconnection are on the increase.

The Milton Abbas Local History Group provides a trusted place for people to get together, and a service to the community. It is concerned with discovering our local heritage.

Being a member of the Milton Abbas Local History Group will fulfil most of the recommendations of the NHS five steps to wellbeing.

At our regular monthly meetings you will be with over 20 other people with similar interests. 

Making connections is part of our ethos, with meetings, Facebook and a website we are in touch with hundreds of people worldwide who have an interest in Milton Abbas. Many have ancestors from the area and are wishing to find out more.

The meetings are structured social events with presentations on local and social history. Time is set aside to chat and share issues over refreshments.

Members are encouraged to ask questions, discuss topics, and debate.

Members are encouraged to give presentations, and are helped at every stage of preparation.

Members are encouraged to tell their own stories of their past experiences in a supportive environment.

Members are encouraged to research topics of their choosing of local and social history, and two subgroups are actively researching WWI and 18th century social history as they relate to a rural Dorset village.

Members are encouraged to work together to organise social events, exhibitions, publishing and displaying their work.

Members are encouraged to interpret the old maps of Milton Abbas and walk the old roads and tracks, and identify features such as boundaries, hedges, and field names. This increases understanding of the ancient and modern landscapes, as well as getting healthy exercise, and being outdoors.

Working together and learning together helps with meeting new people and making new friends.

Facilities are provided for researching: searching online catalogues, books for background reading to MA history, printing, etc.

Guidance in the use of the internet and social media is given to find and share information. 

Literacy is enhanced by finding and reading historic documents.

Members who participate will have the satisfaction of leaving a legacy for future generations: a searchable database of records related to the history of Milton Abbas and its social history, searchable transcriptions of Milton Abbas documents, an archive of catalogued documents.

Although our main meetings are monthly, many members are actively researching, transcribing, and writing on a daily basis. Their ideas can be shared using social media, or face to face.

Participating members can enhance their skills in the internet, website design, cloud sharing, creative writing, researching, searching for documents, reading old handwriting, map reading, public speaking, stewarding, and dozens of other potential creative outlets.

Investigating the social history of a rural Dorset village shows the hardships, depredations, social stigmas, poor medical treatment, overcrowding, hours of work, poor communications, large families, childbirth, clothing, washing, etc. This allows members to compare their own life experiences with those who have gone before, and draw their own comparisons. This understanding of people’s former lives shows how lucky we are to be alive today.