As Europa Nostra European Heritage Award winners, on April 28th, Wessex Archaeology were invited to lead an online event for young members of Europa Nostra. ‘Maritime heritage as a tool to promote wellbeing: A roundtable discussion’ was a chance for early career heritage professionals from a wide range of disciplines to hear about how our work at Wessex helps to promote wellbeing and improve mental health.

Dr Dan Atkinson discussed our Coastal & Marine work with veterans on HMS Montagu and the Aberlady submarines and how we evaluate the social impact of these projects. Leigh Chalmers then presented the Lost & Found project which was launched in response to temporary closure of vital mental health services and discussed Wessex Archaeology’s work to improve wellbeing during the unprecedented challenges of the Covid pandemic.

Following on from the presentations, the group had a roundtable discussion with insightful questions and a chance to share everyone’s experiences on the subject. It was a really productive afternoon where we reflected on how the pandemic has influenced approaches to heritage, the newfound accessibility of digital engagement and how we can go forward to create an inclusive heritage landscape with the lessons learned.

We’d like to thank Europa Nostra for the invitation to lead what was a very inspiring event with their young members.

By Natalia Bain, Archaeologist