Hello. My name is Ian Haynes and I am the U3A Archaeology Subject Adviser. I am contacting you because opportunities have arisen for U3A Archaeology group members to apply to participate in a project recording archaeological finds in your local region.
Activities will vary and possible tasks include washing, identifying, measuring, weighing, photographing, researching and recording finds, mounting displays and exhibitions, with training given so that volunteers can be confident in what they are doing.
Up to 500 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds from local communities will be recruited as part of the “PASt Explorers Project”, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) for England and Wales. Volunteers will be part of new Community Finds Recording Teams (CFRTs) working with their local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO). The project starts this month, November 2014.
Such opportunities are very rare and I advise you to act quickly if your members are interested, particularly as volunteering will be open to all, including schools and colleges.
What now? Please contact your members to see if anyone is interested. Then send an email to
Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org, letting her know that you would like to be involved in the scheme, which U3A group you are, how many members are interested and, if possible, their names. There is no need at present to contact your local FLO unless you already have links with her / him.
Speed is of the essence as there is likely to be competition for these places. Clearly, exactly where and when the training and other sessions will take place will affect who is able to go but at this stage you really need to make sure you register your interest and take things from there.
I’ve attached a file containing an outline of the scheme from Claire, and an explanation of what the PAS is and does.