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The 2023 CBA Festival of Archaeology is now underway and featuring Solent's AMPHORA project – UKRI-funded work which has developed best practice guidelines for organisations offering heritage projects as interventions for people who live with mental health issues.

20th July 2023
Health, psychology and sociologyResearchHomepage - News - Standard

The project’s research team, including Dr Karen Burnell, the project’s Principal Investigator at Solent University and archaeologist Dr Paul Everill of the University of Winchester, first launched their AMPHORA Guidelines in 2022 - a set of toolkits which cover preparing, delivering and following-up on heritage project interventions.

Karen and Paul have since worked with colleagues at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) to provide an adapted version to support the annual festival.

The guidelines are designed to assist all organisations, big or small, funded or not, in the delivery of safe intervention projects that support mental health at the same time as enhancing and protecting the historic environment that provides the setting for these interventions.

Dr Burnell said: “The CBA Festival of Archaeology welcomes a wide range of individuals to connect to people in the past, providing an opportunity to learn.

“While many of us think we might not be affected by the past, it can prompt us to reflect on our own personal experiences. Most of the time reflection is positive, however, there are times when it is challenging; it can take us by surprise and bring up memories and experiences that are difficult to deal with.

“We’ve worked with CBA to develop guidelines that can support exhibitors and activity organisers to think about the themes of their exhibits and activities, and how to tell people about these so they can make an informed decision about getting involved.”

The Festival runs from 15-30 July and incorporates hundreds of in-person and virtual events delivered by community groups, heritage organisations, universities, commercial units, and more in-person and online across the UK.