Council for British Archaeology commends cross-sector collaboration
On Monday 2nd June 2014, colleagues from across the UK heritage sector came together for a Graduation event at National Museum Cardiff, organised by the Council for British Archaeology to celebrate the achievements of the Community Archaeology Bursaries Project
The Community Archaeology Bursaries Project has been underway for the past three years and is now drawing to a close with the fifth and final cohort of trainees completing their vocational training placements in September 2014. Managed by the Council for British Archaeology, this successful project has taken forward the organisation's vision of archaeology for all by supporting voluntary sector engagement.
CBA Director, Mike Heyworth, with graduates of the Community Archaeology Bursaries Project
The Graduation was hosted by the National Museum Cardiff, itself a partner in the project. The event was well attended by representatives from a range of organisations from across Wales and South-West England and provided occasion to commend the support of supervisors and mentors. Underpinning the success of the Bursaries Project has been the high level of cross-sector collaboration and this is a message that CBA Director, Mike Heyworth, reinforced at the Graduation, commenting that:
“The Community Archaeology Bursaries Project has been an excellent example of partnership working. The strong links between the funders (Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Cadw), the managers (CBA) and the delivery partners (bursary hosts across the UK) has provided high quality training and work experience for 51 individuals, and provides a sound basis for future collaboration. The bursary holders have all benefitted from this collaboration and many have already secured employment in roles which will use their new skills and experience to deliver enhanced public benefit through archaeology.”
CBA project coordinator, Tara-Jane Sutcliffe (centre), with Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust Director, Paul Belford, and bursary-holder Viviana Culshaw
Looking to the future with respect to the sustainability of the provision of support for the voluntary sector, Paul Belford, Director of Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, commented that:
"The CBA scheme has been excellent for the profession - it has enabled a group of passionate and committed people to develop skills and networks which have really made a difference to the way community archaeology is delivered. I hope and expect that this group of people will continue to have a strong influence as they develop their careers. Our bursary holder at the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust, Viviana Culshaw, has increased the quantity and variety of public archaeology which we are able to deliver, and has prompted colleagues into new ways of thinking and doing. We are delighted to be able to retain Viviana as our Community Archaeologist after her CBA-coordinated placement ends in September."
Former bursary-holder, Samantha Colclough, with CBA Director, Mike Heyworth
Several of the training placements have had a specific focus on developing youth engagement. This has resulted in another immediate and tangible legacy of the project with the establishment of the Ironbridge branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) by former-bursary holder Samantha Colclough and her supervisor Shane Kelleher of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Samantha commented:
“Whilst at Ironbridge I was lucky to have the opportunity to engage younger generations with heritage. With the uncertainty that surrounds the heritage sector in the current economic climate, it has become even more important to encourage public participation in local heritage. Working with volunteers on archaeological projects provides positives for all parties involved, and by engaging children at younger ages through initiatives such as YAC, it can only support the growth and sustainability of this sector for future generations.”
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Looking ahead to the withdrawal of external funding for vocational training in Community Archaeology, it is crucial that lessons learnt are identified and shared. Evaluation has been on-going throughout the life of the project and reporting will take place in autumn 2014.