What is SHARP & what does it do?
SHARP has been running Archaeological & research work from Sedgeford in Norfolk for 25 years. Entirely led and run by volunteers who donate their time free, the project has overseen research & excavation into the human settlement & land use in the area from the Neolithic period right through to the post-Mediaeval, from its base on the Boneyard Field.
During that time, it has welcomed over 4,000 students, volunteers & academics to the site to excavate, take part in research & post-excavation activities and live together in a self-sufficient community of like minded people. Many former 'Sharpies' have gone on to careers in the heritage field, having started out at Sedgeford as school or university students. Others return year after year from all over the world as volunteer excavators and researchers.
Throughout its life, the site has largely been self funded, and has been run very much 'on a shoestring'. This has included reliance on a large (not very green) diesel generator to provide power for catering, teaching, post excavation activity (finds processing & environmental analysis, human remains analysis) and to provide camping facilities like showers, as the vast majority of Sharpies camp on-site. We have also been reliant on the generosity of the village in providing premises for our archive and office facilities.
Sounds great! So why does SHARP need to raise funds?
As the project has developed and grown, having no mains electrical supply on our Boneyard site has started to limit what we can do. We now need to move out of our premises in the village, which offers us an opportunity to move all of our operations to this site, to install permanent classroom spaces and an office, to expand our catering and campsite facilities and to concentrate all of our post-excavation activities closer to the excavation site.
We need £15,000 to install mains electricity to the site, which will repay itself in around 4 years, as we currently spend around £4,000 a year hiring and fuelling the diesel generator we rely on for everything!
Sounds good! What will it enable the project to do?
The sky's the limit once we have power! But more specifically, we'll be able to:
- Expand the number of people on site & improve catering facilities to feed them
- Offer permanent showers to those camping on site - essential when you're that dirty!
- Provide enhanced post-excavation activities for our excavated material
- Offer the highest quality teaching in properly equipped classrooms
- Better exhibit and demonstrate our finds and discoveries to the public, including local people, local schools, students and interested volunteers
- Provide easier access to our substantial archive to students & researchers
- Potentially expand the programme SHARP offers into out-of-season activities
Who will benefit most from this?
Many different groups will potentially benefit from this upgrade to our main site, including:
- Current students and volunteers who join us on site for excavation, post-excavation, courses & research activities
- New students & volunteers who we hope to attract to the site once we are ready for larger numbers
- Researchers & academics who will be able to gain easier access to our archive & human remains collection
- Local schools, who could be welcomed to a broader range of activities on our site
- Visitors and local people, who could benefit from more out-of-season activities on the site
There are plenty of good causes on Crowdfunder - why should I choose this one?
SHARP has been largely self-financing for the last 25 years. Everyone on site gives their time for free, regardless of their role. The project ethos asks everyone to 'muck in' with everything on site, including the washing up! Crowdfunding is very much in keeping with our DIY ethos - and being largely self-funding means that we are used to using money carefully.
The site has at least another 20 years of archaeological material to study, so we're here to stay! Donating to this campaign would hopefully enable another 4,000 people to experience Archaeology first hand and to join the Sharpie community.
Thank you so much for your interest.