William is Young Archaeologist of the Year!
William Fakes is the founding member of the Leeds Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC). He is a Year 8 pupil at Royds School and has overcome a number of personal difficulties to persue his love of archaeology. William was nominated for the award by his YAC club leader, Louise Martin. She described him as “oozing enthusiasm, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the past” and praised his dedication.
William himself was thrilled and surprised by the award. He said:
When I found out I’d won I was speechless, literally. It was phenomenal just to be nominated and I really didn’t think I’d win. The best thing about archaeology is getting muddy, very very muddy, and I love military history. I’d like to do further study in archaeology. One thing’s for sure: I’ll never have a job that involves chairs and desks!
William's award, which was accompanied by a cheque for £250, was part of the Marsh Awards for Community Archaeology and is given to a young person (or group of young people) who makes an outstanding contribution to community archaeology. It was presented by Nicky Milsted from YAC HQ at a meeting of the Leeds YAC club at their base in Middleton Park in south Leeds. She said:
It was an honour to meet William. I was immediately drawn in by his enthusiastic attitude and love of archaeology. He is an asset to Leeds YAC and is obviously respected by all his fellow members. I’m sure he will go far and that the archaeological community should watch out for his name.
Piled with praise!
William's award brought praise from a wide range of people. Councillor Kim Groves who represents Middleton Park ward on Leeds City Council came along to the presentation to meet William and congratulate him in person. She said:
To be told that Middleton Park is the perfect surroundings for William as he undertakes his archaeology research makes us very proud, and given his undoubted talent, I don’t think this will be the last time that we hear of his achievements in this fascinating field of work.
William's key support teacher from Royds School, Mrs Margaret Baker, said:
We are so proud to have such an extraordinary young student. William is a pleasure to have as part of our school community.
And William's mum, Hazel, said:
We are very proud of him and his commitment. He's passionate about history.
About Leeds YAC
Leeds YAC is one of a network of 70 local YAC clubs across the UK. You can find your nearest YAC here on the YAC website. All our clubs offer amazing activities for young people aged 8 to 16.
Leeds YAC was actually set up following a successful school history project delivered as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Parks for People regeneration of Middleton Park. Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
We are so pleased that William has received national recognition through the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award. At HLF we are dedicated about funding projects that help people to learn about their local heritage and through the project at Middleton Park, William has been able to show his passion and enthusiasm for history and archaeology.
Could it be you?!
Nominations for the 2016 Young Archaeologist of the Year Award will open in the early summer. We're looking for someone with loads of enthusiasm for archaeology, and someone who shares their love of the past with others. Are we looking for you?!
More information about how to nominate yourself, or someone else, for the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award will be available on the YAC website later in the year. So watch this space! And remember, the winner takes away £250!