Outreach is an integral part of archaeology, an important avenue for disseminating archaeological knowledge to the public and an opportunity to inspire future generations to care for heritage. I have been involved in outreach activities since 2010, including public engagement in excavation projects, archaeology in education projects and most recently, professional experience in the University of Leicester Widening Participation Team.
During my Graduate Teaching Assistant PhD studentship I worked with the youth from local schools: designing and delivering masterclasses for A Level tester days, mentoring youth in archaeology residential summer school ‘Awesome Archaeology’ (every year since 2012, now as a head mentor), delivering lectures tied into the local schools’ curriculum including both in disadvantaged schools and at Leicester Grammar School and talking to prospective students in Open Days – previously representing the School of Archaeology and Ancient History and now working with the central University team.
I have also been involved in a range of activities engaging with the wider general public: stewarding exhibitions in local museums and in archaeology fairs including at Melton Mowbray Museum, Jewry Wall Museum; in big events such as the Past Beneath Your Feet (2013); and more recently in events related to Richard III outreach. I have been supervising volunteers in community excavations, most recently (since 2014) for Charnwood Roots Projects at Withwick and Anstey and given public talks to local archaeology societies among other activities.
I continue to work closely with the outreach team at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History through supporting them in my new role, where I get to learn about how outreach is planned and carried out across different academic disciplines and deepen my understanding of higher education and widening participation. I have been supporting the activities of my old department through providing my original research to serve as material for an outreach activity for Classics for All Project. I have also cooperated with both Classics for All at Leicester University and A Sense of Place Project to support the collection of data and evaluation of both of the initiatives. You can find out more about my work as an evaluator here.
I have also been developing a Fieldwork Project Impact Questionnaire Builder to help others design a viable data collection strategy to evidence the impact of your fieldwork in the wider community which you will find on the evaluation page.