Southborough Valley Community Archaeology Project


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Community Archaeology: funding & sponsorship

Robert Falvey presenting the Mayor of Tunbrige Wells, Cllr David Elliot, with a t-shirt for his pledge to Kickstarter campaign.   
It might be said that a community archaeological group is only as good as its members. As the new digging season gets underway, SHAAS can reflect upon the strong support from its members and its growing assetsAt our inaugural AGM we passed a motion to introduce membership fees. SHAAs effectively moved from being a volunteer group to a constituted archaeology society. It was decided to keep subscriptions as low as possible so as to not impede its existing members while it attempts to grow more self-sufficient. We are glad to see that we have not seen a fall in membership since fees were introduced. We continue to have an enthusiastic pool of members to draw on as commence work on our new site at Honnington Farm.
Table Quiz held at the Imperial Pub, Southborough to raise funds
Over the winter period we had more time to focus on fundraising, as the rain had put an end to our fun in the woods. Robert Falvey took the lead on raising capital via crowdfunding. This is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a larger number of people, typically via the internet. Kickstarter is one of the leading established benefit corporations which provide a platform for fundraisers, and a successful campaign led to the raising of £1,062. Each person who pledges support gets a reward and the most popular of these rewards was an official SHAAS t-shirt. Other popular gifts included tickets to our forthcoming archaeology workshops.  This was enough to provide its members with a range of brand-new archaeological equipment and facilities. Tricia Bamblett soon followed suit with the inclusion of the society in the Asda Green Token Scheme which raised much needed money for our cause. 

The fundraising did not stop there; the society wrote a successful bid to the Royal Tunbridge Wells Round Table Give-Away and received a generous donation of £714. This grant went straight into developing the facilities and pay for a geophysical survey of our new site.

This project shows that community groups can be successful if run with a strong community ethos and aligned to achievable goals. SHASS does not believe in squirreling away the money generated. Rainy days may come, but for the time being we are enjoying the fine weather. All the money raised has being invested into our new site to make it a fantastic resource for the community. SHAAS strives to be a beacon for those people who were fired up by the sort of popular people’s archaeology so effectively fostered by Time Team and its successors. 
Part of the money raised went towards our site office, which was a group effort to put up!
If you would like to take part in this summers dig please get in touch via the website  or email

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