The annual, national Volunteers’ Week begins today (1st June) and continues until the 12th June. Millions of people across Britain work as volunteers and, this week, the organisations which they work for can really celebrate our volunteers and the massive contribution which they make. The Colchester Archaeology Trust is lucky to have a team of people who work with them as archaeology volunteers, renovation volunteers, circus centre volunteers, garden volunteers, and cafe volunteers – and they currently also have heritage volunteers from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).

Some of the volunteers have been working with the Trust for over 30 years and some have joined more recently. Some also volunteer for other organisations, such as Christine who works with the National Trust in Coggeshall and Gillian with the Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club. Several volunteers will also be helping at the Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club archaeology fun day on the 16th July and you can meet some of them, then! You can also meet volunteers on different days as they work at the Roman circus centre, including demonstrating ‘archaeology in action’ or giving guided tours to visitors.

Volunteers’ Week explain the celebration on their web-site: ‘… Over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and this contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Behind these big numbers is a big contribution.
These 21 million people are a shining example of how we can all make a big difference to individuals and communities every day from improving the environment we live in, spending time with those who may otherwise be lonely and contributing to a range of other essential services and support. We believe such a big contribution is worth a big celebration! …’ – read more at http://volunteersweek.org/ . Volunteers’ Week has been extended to twelve days, this year, to extend the celebration of the country’s volunteers and their work and to thank them. Here at the Roman circus centre, we will be holding another of our volunteers’ events on Saturday (4th June), when Trust senior archaeologist Howard Brooks will present an illustrated talk on prehistoric Essex to our volunteers, to support the prehistoric pottery-handling workshop which Trust pottery specialist Steve Benfield led with the volunteers in April. (The talk will include celebratory tea and biscuits!)

The Trust is, as always, extremely grateful to their great team of volunteers for all the contributions to the work of the Trust, to the Roman circus centre and to the visitors and customers, and to the archaeology and heritage of Colchester and Essex.

Thanks to volunteers Brenda, Callum, Catherine, Christine, David, Gillian, Hannah, Hilary, Jackie, Jane, Kate, Margaret, Martin, Neil, Richard, Ros, Shirley H., Shirley W., and Wendie; to Alex, Andy, Peter H., Peter K., Roger, and Sarah, who contribute to the Trust on a voluntary basis; to the heritage volunteers from NADFAS; and to all past volunteers.

Read more about volunteers’ week and volunteers at http://volunteersweek.org/ . Visit the Essex heritage volunteers’ (NADFAS) web-site at http://essex.nadfas.net/heritage-volunteers .

 

Header Image: Colchester Archaeology Trust volunteer Maureen’s flowers blooming at the front of the Roman circus centre on Friday (27th May)

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Source: Colchester Archaeology Trust