In September 2018, Surrey Archaeological Society received a National Lottery grant totalling £90,000 for an exciting two-year heritage project, Sustainable Impact, which is spread across various locations throughout Surrey. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focused on training its members to carry out fieldwork and strengthen the group’s outreach activities in the community.
Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and working in partnership with the Surrey County Archaeological Unit (SCAU), Surrey Heritage and the National Trust, the project enabled in-depth training for people in the community – members and non-members, young and old – to discover more about their local heritage and help to preserve it. This included workshops and field sessions in geophysical survey, excavation skills and assessing the condition of monuments, as well as opportunities which are desk-based (GIS, LiDAR, map survey, archives, finds and more). Activities and events also took place for families and groups of young people to get involved and dig test pits in their own communities (Farnham, Hindhead, Puttenham, Woking, Epsom/ Ewell, Chaldon and more). Overall, there was a wide range of volunteer opportunities from helping to run events to honing your research skills, as we want to engage with as many local groups as possible and work together to promote the county's unique past.
Commenting on the project, Project Officer, Dr Anne Sassin said “This was an exciting opportunity for the group to enhance their skills in order to carry out research and fieldwork projects across the county, including working more closely in the community to introduce young people to what archaeology really is. Although the project has officially ended, the resources gained will be carried over into new outreach endeavours and opportunities”.
Trustee Tim Wilcock added that “We were very pleased to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will encourage members of all ages to get involved and bring new blood to the Society so that it can carry-on its important work in the future in order to help preserve the past.”