Launch of our YAC Steering Group: report from our Young Leader, Anna Priest
As part of our funding from Historic England, we have launched a YAC Steering Group who will be responsible for guiding the development and sustainability of the YAC Network across the UK. We invited members and volunteers, alongside external heritage and/or youth organisations to be part of our group. Anna is a Young Leader with Bexley YAC and here she tells us all about her involvement with the project:
Being a Young Leader
When I was asked to join the YAC Steering Group, I was incredibly excited. I’ve been involved with the Young Archaeologists Club for about 6 years, and last year I became a Young Leader for the Bexley branch in London.
During our sessions I help the younger members with our activities and answer any queries or questions they may have. I love being a Young Leader as it gives me the opportunity to share my passion for archaeology and help others. I also like being able to give something back to the group that has given me so much knowledge and joy. I’m also not treated any differently from the other adult volunteers, which is great.
I have opportunities to suggest sessions to my branch leader and direct them. The Young Archaeologists' Club is an amazing way to find out more about heritage and the historic environment, and the experience I have gained from it will be essential for my future as I would like to pursue archaeology as a career. I’ve learned skills that I wouldn’t have anywhere else.
The YAC Steering Group
I joined the Steering Group to provide a youth perspective and to help address some slight issues that I’ve found in the YAC system, including hopefully bridging the gap between the end of the YAC and the start of university, hopefully bringing more young archaeologists through.
Members of the Steering Group (L-R): Roisin (Young Leader from Flodden YAC), Anna (Young Leader from Bexley YAC), Megan (Branch Leader, Barnsley and Rotheram), Peta (CIfA Board), Sandra (Historic England), Jo (CBA), Kim (Tricolor) and Cy (CBA Wales) - missing is Becca (Archaeology Scotland), Issy (Young Leader from Welsh Marches YAC) and Katy (Branch Leader, North Wiltshire).
The first meeting in York was incredibly inspiring, and we discussed some very promising ideas for the future of YAC. It was great to meet the other members of the group and know that there are other people out there who enjoy the same things that I do and want to make a positive impact on youth awareness and engagement with archaeology and the historical environment. I really hope to make a positive impact on youth engagement with archaeology and encourage others to take part.
One of the exciting things to come out of the discussions at the Steering Group meeting was the establishment of a Youth Steering Group, designed to give young people even more of a voice in the future of their own club, which I will be delighted to be a part of and do my best to make a difference.
If you are a YAC member, aged 16-17 years-old and would like to be involved in the creation of our Youth Steering Group please email firstname.lastname@example.org