Community engagement forms a key part of the conservation project. This is a general title for all those activities and tasks designed to engage the general public in the work and results of the project.
Objectives of community engagement
The objectives of the community engagement activity are:
- To engage and enthuse people in the history and archaeology of Evesham Abbey; and
- To publicly share the results of conservation, research and archaeology.
A number of different potential audience have been identified, including:
- Local schools (including St Mary’s, St Richard’s, Prince Henry’s High School, the De Montfort School).
- Universities (notably the University of Worcester which has an archaeology and heritage department)
- Local organisations (such as the Evesham & District U3A, VEHS, SWAG)
- General public (both local and visitors)
The engagement activity addresses the following outcomes:
- People will have learnt about heritage
- People will have changed their attitudes/behaviour
- People will have had an enjoyable experience
- More people and a wider range of people will have engaged with heritage
Overview of tasks
This activity comprises a range of tasks including:
- Exhibitions and displays
- Talks and day school
- Site tours
- Local press/media
Exhibitions and displays
The trust has a good working relationship with the Vale of Evesham Historical Society (VEHS) who regularly produce displays on local history topics at a range of local venues, including St Lawrence’s church.
Talks and day school
The results of the initial archaeology and fabric repairs are planned to be shared through local events (such as talks and a day school). These will be led by key people engaged in the project, such as the project manager, conservation architect and the professional archaeologist. The history of Evesham Abbey provides a rich range of potential subjects for talks and displays; not least the Legend of Evesham, the foundation of the monastery, the burial of Simon de Montfort and the dissolution. Handouts and materials will be prepared to be issued to schools and the public as the programme/project develops.
A key task will be the provision of tours around the site of Evesham Abbey by the professional archaeologist and his workers. This will allow the site, previously private and locked, is made available at least on a limited basis to the general public.
Regular updates will be prepared for issue to the local press (and will also be shared via a dedicated website and social media).
The results of the fabric repairs and initial archaeology will hopefully produce a range of interesting results. The results of the archaeology might produce one or more academic studies, plus supporting articles, in addition to local publications.