Since January, groups of learners across the region have been enjoying their first taste of archaeology. Tutors have been working with learners in Barnsley, Doncaster, Grimsby, Leeds and Rotherham for several weeks; and new groups in Bradford, Scunthorpe and Sheffield are now underway. All of the introductory programmes have benefitted from the support of partner organisations who have provided venues, staff and other resources to enable learners to get involved. Local launch events have been held – and more are planned – to raise awareness of the project in the communities where hubs are being developed. (Click here to read a report of the Sheffield launch).
Most of the activity so far has been in the classroom, giving people confidence as they begin to explore archaeology and develop skills. As we move towards summer (though the weather doesn’t seem to know that it’s the end of April!) the project workers, Nicola and Victoria, have been working with our tutors to plan a wide range of activities in the field. Learners will be able to experience practical archaeology at sites ranging from the reconstruction Iron Age Roundhouse at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield to a medieval field system preserved in woodland in NE Lincolnshire. Again, support from partner organisations from the archaeology community has been really welcome.
Another development beginning to take shape is the involvement of volunteers in the project. We have been working closely with Sheffield Volunteer Centre as well as the WEA National Volunteering and Membership Group to ensure that volunteers have a positive experience on the project. We know that volunteers will bring a great deal to the project and are looking forward to working alongside them.
So, let’s hope that the weather improves – and if not, archaeologists are a hardy bunch!