In the past I have made posts to this blog that deal with those issues facing archaeology students, academics and practitioners in this tricky and unpredictable economic climate, such as 'What can you do with an archaeology degree besides be an archaeologist?' and today I read this post on Doug's Archaeology entitled 'Why are there so few Archaeologists in such a large country? America’s Archaeology Employment Problems'. Items such as these, though relevant and realistic, can paint a rather bleak picture of the future of the discipline we all know and love so this week I decided to share something positive!
I have chosen to feature an organisation that is nurturing and encouraging an interest in archaeology amongst the UK's young people - the Young Archaeologists' Club (YAC), the only UK-wide club for young people up to the age of 17 interested in archaeology.
The club is run by Council for British Archaeology (CBA), an educational charity working for over 65 years to promote ‘Archaeology for All’. YAC’s vision is for all young people to have opportunities to be inspired and excited by archaeology, and to empower them to help shape its future.
The Young Archaeologists’ Club was started 40 years ago in August 1972 by Dr Kate Pretty. Its name back then was Young Rescue and it was the junior branch of RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust. Initially it was just going to be based in Cambridge but after publicity in The Times it was launched as a national club.
Dig deep for YAC!
The CBA, like many organisations and charities, is facing a challenging financial future. The withdrawal of its main source of public funding has had a major impact on the organisation’s finances. The YAC Branches offer a fantastic range of opportunities for young people to get into archaeology. In 2013 there were 60 Branches in the YAC network, run by some 560 volunteers. Over the year, volunteers delivered 588 activity sessions which provided some 7, 800 opportunities for young people.
You can help YAC by becoming a member, adopting a branch or making a donation.
Learn more about YAC and how you can help >