Community Engagement worker and volunteer, blogging, facebooking and tweeting about the project. When on the digs I tweet about the progress made and any upcoming events @MedievalMJJ, where I also tweet about my research and other academic projects. I take people around the site and engage them in hands-on activities, working especially with the school groups who come up on scheduled visits. My role also involves showcasing the project at local events and larger festivals, engaging both children and adults with the project and encouraging them to come up and visit us.
CAER is the overall winner of the NCCPE Engage Competition, and winner of the History & Heritage category.
I am also a researcher on the project – to view details of my contribution to the project as a researcher, click here.
Delivering History and Archaeology workshops for schools in inner-city Cardiff and the Cynon Valley, SWS is an exciting and interactive project breaking down barriers between less advantaged pupils and Higher Education. It was shortlisted for the History and Heritage Category of the NCCPE Engage Competition, which was won by the CAER Heritage Project. Both projects work closely with one another, and SWS teams deliver workshops at the CAER dig site as well as in the classroom.
I have delivered the Romans in Wales, Life in the Nineteenth Century, and Cardiff Castle workshops to Years 7 and 9, and the Higher Education workshop to Year 12s on numerous occasions over the past two years. [The Cardiff Castle workshop has since been replaced with the new Medieval Society workshop.]
As a Postgraduate Coordinator, I recruited and trained undergraduate volunteers for the project, and sat on the interview panel for new postgraduate Coordinators, taking on new PGRs to coordinate various established workshops and training them in their new roles.
Postgraduate Coordinator for the Year 12 Access to HE workshop and project manager of the new Medieval Society workshop, developed by undergraduate volunteers I recruited and trained:
The Medieval Society Development Team:
The team had several planning meetings, during which they brainstormed activities and debated logistics and costings. They each took on roles creating and developing worksheets, researching and sourcing appropriate images, and providing weapons and armour for the object handling sessions. They were present to deliver this and other workshops run by SHARE With Schools, developing presentation skills and gaining valuable, practical classroom experience.
Community Engagement and Digital Humanities
I have been contacted by the co-director of Mi Little iPad Ltd, Sally Cooper, who runs iPad-based after school and evening clubs for children. One group is currently rebuilding the Roman Empire on their iPads in conjunction with Caldicot Library, and Ms Cooper is interested in developing links with history and heritage organisations so that the popular Minecraft club can offer trips to real castles to inspire the children to build their own in their Minecraft projects. This idea is in the early stages of development, and I am currently liaising with the CAER, SWS and Guerilla Archaeology projects to see how to progress, what would be viable and whether the activities already offered by these amazing and innovative projects could accommodate a virtual component. I would love to be able to arrange for a group to go up to Caerau in the summer and get the older children to virtually reconstruct the Norman ringwork on top of the hillfort, or take a group of the younger children to a local castle like Cardiff or Abergavenny or Caerphilly! Please see my blog for updates.
MLiP Ltd also runs clubs for the over 60s as well as children of various ages, and holds groups in Caldicot Library, Caldicot, and The Riverfront, Newport.