Anglo-Saxon CSI: Sittingbourne (Conservation Science Investigations)

Happy Archaeology Day 2014 !! As director of a non-profit heritage organisation (AMTeC Co-op Ltd), and manager of a community volunteer project (Anglo-Saxon CSI: Sittingbourne), today I have been attending an event run by Diversity House – a social change organisation based in Swale, Kent: #Supporting Women in the Workplace. The event was attended by local and regional councillors, MPs, the mayor and offered inspirational talks by kent’s Police & Crimes Commissioner, Ann Barnes; Debra Allcock-Tyler (CEO of the Directory of Social Change); and Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Alyesford. I made contact with the local job centre ‘employment advisor’ about how we might work together to recognise the transferable skill sets that CSI volunteers gain through our archaeology project; and I attended very useful sessions on business development and HMRC/tax mentoring. This is the 5th day in as many weeks that I have taken to attend an event designed to inform myself about business skills, funding opportunities, and networking for the role of heritage in the regional and community context. While I have never really felt personally disadvantaged as a woman working within archaeology, it was interesting to hear statistics on the subject and receive sound advice, applicable to anyone. I feel more disadvantaged by the fact that I work within a ‘niche’ industry… but actually, archaeology has so much public appeal and opportunities to bring enjoyment, knowledge and skills development to all sectors of society – its niche realm is actually it’s greatest strength… so I am grateful to Diversity House for putting on an event that hopefully has brought me a little bit closer to getting our doors open again – and me, getting back to what I do and love best of all – working with people, investigating and conserving ancient materials. …will try and find a moment to post on some recent new discoveries at the ‘conservation bench’ a bit later today; otherwise, anyone wanting to catch up with the Anglo-Saxon CSI: Sittingbourne project can find us @CSIsitt or on facebook: