Accessing Your Case File

What is a case file?

A case file, also known as a pupil, client, resident or patient file is a record of the time one person spent in a therapeutic community.

The contents of a case file will vary enormously between communities, but it will also be affected by the practices of individual members of staff and the time period in which the information was collected. Some files are very detailed providing a thorough overview of the time spent in a community. Others only record very basic details like arrival and departure dates.

What case files do we have?

We hold case files for the following organisations:

Residential schools, children’s homes and adolescent communities

  • Cotswold Community (1969 and 1991)
  • Cumberlow Community (1996-2005)
  • Eaton Hill Therapeutic Community (1994-2004)
  • Finchden Manor School (1932-1974)
  • Glebe House (1950-2000)
  • Hengrove School (1950-1997)
  • Kilworthy School (TBC)
  • New Barnes School (1969-1992)
  • Shotton Hall School
  • Warleigh Manor School (1988-1997)
  • Wennington School (1960-1979)

Residential adult communities

  • Ley Community (1975-.2019)
  • Messenger House Trust (1960-1994)


  • Cassel Hospital (1921-1936)

How do I access a case file?

The first step is to establish if the Archives do hold a case file for you. For the Archivist to do this you will need to call, email or write to us providing:

  • The name of the community/organisation
  • Your full name
  • The name you were known by at the time (if different)
  • Your date of birth
  • The dates you were at the community

Once our team has confirmed we hold a file that matches all those details we can arrange for you to visit the Archives to view the file or receive a scanned copy.

Whether you choose to visit in person or receive a copy of the case file it is very important that we see ID. This is to make sure your data is kept safe and that we are complying with our obligations under UK data protection legislation.

We understand that viewing a case file may bring up some strong emotions. If you visit us in person we welcome anyone you may wish to bring with you for support. We can provide a private space for you to process your emotions if needed.