A key aspect of Wessex Archaeology’s work in excavations at Barrow Clump was the social value of the project.
The military veterans taking part in the project had complex mental health requirements. Wessex Archaeology’s priority throughout the excavation was ensure the welfare and to promoting the recovery of the personnel involved. Great care was taken to facilitate the needs of the individuals, including specialist support and mental health first aiders on site, and to avoid the discussion of subjects that could trigger post-traumatic stress disorder.
Supporting volunteers was another key focus for Wessex Archaeology during this important project. Three volunteers identified themselves as elderly or isolated; we paid for transport so that they were able to use their volunteering as an opportunity to socialise.
A legacy of this activity has been the ongoing friendship between these three volunteers who have subsequently volunteered as a team on other projects with Wessex Archaeology. One volunteer stated that he found great comfort in meeting and working alongside other volunteers which helped him through a period of grieving.