We have run courses at Poulton for nearly 20 years now. They have been very well received and the vast majority of people who have attended would recommend them to others and come again.
On our volunteers' page, you will find the answer all of your questions about volunteering at Poulton. We are not asking you to simply wash pots or move spoil. Within hours of your arrival on-site we expect you to be excavating serious archaeology.
We have a very high satisfaction rating from our course attendees (the details for the latest 2013) season are here). Everyone who has attended over the last 4 years would recommend us to others and would come again.
Welcome to the volunteers’ page. We hope this page will answer all of your questions about volunteering at Poulton.
Q. Can anyone become a volunteer at Poulton?
A. Yes, just about anybody. if you are interested in archaeology and getting your hands dirty. There are a range of ways that you can help – so even if you are not up to some of the heavier work, there will be plenty for you to do.
Q. Are there any age restrictions?
A. If you are between 16 and 100, you will be welcome. The site is not suitable for small children, but adult volunteers with older children, who are interested in joining in, may be allowed on site at the discretion of the Site Consultant. Please check beforehand.
Q. I have a physical disability. Can I become a volunteer?
A. The site can be difficult, especially in poor weather, so your ability to participate might be limited. But there are jobs that you may be able to do. Please check with Paul Naylor
Q. When do you go on site?
A. We meet up on site every Saturday morning, weather permitting, from 10.00 to 13.00. In the winter, the site may be closed for longer periods of time – volunteers are contacted by email to let them know when the site will be closed.
Q. Is there a charge for volunteering?
A. Yes, we ask volunteers to contribute a minimum of £60 per annum. You can give us more if you like! We are always looking for extra funding. Please contact Paul Naylor once you decide to become a regular.
Q. I’m not sure I want to volunteer on a regular basis. Can I come down to see if I like it?
A. Of course. Please contact Paul Naylor and arrange an initial visit to our site. You will not be pressed to make a financial contribution for a few weeks, until you have decided if this is for you.
Q. Will I receive any training when I start to volunteer?
A. You will be briefed about Heath and Safety on your first visit. Some one will “buddy” you when you first start to volunteer and give you some informal training. The site manager will oversee your activities and ensure that you are developing the correct techniques, Volunteers are encouraged to take part in some of the formal training sessions that take place throughout the year to improve their skills (please see our news for latest events and courses being run. There are charges for these training courses. If you complete a full weeks training, you will receive a certificate.
Q. What sort of activities do you do?
A. You will be shown how to do basic excavation, and how to use your trowel properly. Volunteers may be involved excavating skeletons in our graveyard, trowelling any excavated trench, washing finds and marking finds. There is often a lot of heavy work too, digging trenches with mattocks and spades. As you become more experienced, you may be shown how to do surveying, drawing and photography.
Q. How do you organise things at Poulton?
A. On site, the practical work is organised by our site supervisor. Poulton is managed as a Charitable Trust, and Trust members have organised various support groups to ensure that all the activities at Poulton are running smoothly. Once you have been with us for a while, there will be opportunities for you to join in with some of these volunteer groups.
Q. Do you have any social activities too?
A. Volunteers usually go together to the pub after our Saturday morning sessions! The season will end with a BBQ then we will finish the year off with a Christmas meal together in December.
Q. Can I come and help on site at other times?
A. You cannot come on site unless our Site Supervisor is there, for health and safety reasons. However, if the site is open and other senior members of the team are in attendance, and if there is work to be done, you will be most welcome during the week. You will need to arrange this in advance with Paul Naylor.
Q. If I decide not be volunteer, are they other ways I can help?
A. Yes, you can become a Friend of Poulton and support us financially. Please contact Paul Naylor for details of how donate
Would You Like To Get Involved?
If you would like to get involved or find out more, please do get in touch with us.