19 September 2012
Homelessness charity St Mungo's and the Museum of London's Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC) are celebrating the success of a new volunteering programme for homeless people.
Seven volunteers from St Mungo's client representative group, Outside In, have spent the last six weeks archiving Roman finds housed at the LAARC warehouse in Hackney.
The group is contributing to a large project which will see all the finds from a significant 1970s archaeological dig being archived to modern standards.
Tracy, who lives at a St Mungo's hostel in Covent Garden, said: "This is my first time volunteering with Outside In and I have really enjoyed the project. Volunteering is really helping me. I like the photography side of what we are doing. I'd like to volunteer more in the future."
Another volunteer added: "I can't think of a best bit - it has all been amazing. I studied archaeology at university and also collect antiquities so this has been the ideal opportunity for me. I'd like to work doing something similar in the future. I feel like we have really contributed to this project, the work we have done has real value."
Pamela, who has been volunteering with Outside In for three months said: "I'm really enjoying it and the best bits are archiving and the social aspects of being in a group. This is a good stepping stone for me to get my dream - I'd like to be a project worker in the future."
Sarah-Jane Cox, St Mungo's Deputy Manager for Client Involvement, said: "This volunteering project with LAARC has been a fantastic, inspiring opportunity for St Mungo's Outside In group to boost their self-confidence, develop their skills and connect with the wider London community - and we can now tell the difference between a Roman Samian pot and an Amphora."
Lucy Sawyer from The Museum of London, said: "It has been a real pleasure working with the volunteers from St Mungo's. They are enthusiastic and upbeat. The standard of work they've done for us is really high. The group are making a real difference to the archive by improving the storage of London's archaeology and so making it more accessible for people to research and enjoy now and in the future."
Notes to editors