Recovery from an illness event, particularly in the mental health field, is a continuing problem for contemporary health care. Chronicity remains thus a prevailing problem. It is well-known that the social and institutional environments are key to contributing to social (re-)integration and personal growth by providing for everyday-life practicalities. Oxford provides one such therapeutic environment between the 1960s-90s, which put centre stage marginalised people who did not fit in the remit of the usual service providers. Some of its structures persist, even after the NHS's managerial transformation, and living memory has it that something was special about it. To what extent was this a historically contingent phenomenon of the rolling sixties and what aspects make it a case of positive deviance in the British mental health services more generally? This pilot project which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and has Professor Elisabeth Hsu as Principal Investigator, should lay the foundations for a larger project on this theme. Between November 2014 and March 2015, the one research assistant on the project, Ms Thu Thuyphan, collected oral histories from eight key players at Oxford and scoped archival materials on therapeutic communities more generally. A Steering Group of four retired consultant psychiatrists/ psychotherapists / psychologists - Dr. David Millard, Dr. Peter Agulnik, Prof John Hall and Dr David Kennard - and the archivist of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust; Dr Craig Fees, have been involved in the organising of two witness seminars and a third, final seminar within the Care Initiative of Social Policy at Green Templeton College, which took place on 19 May 2015.