The experience of being a volunteer with IAJ was overwhelmingly positive in its impact; here are some comments from volunteers who were interviewed:

“It has been really rewarding to be welcomed – I feel that my life experience is being valued.”

“I have enjoyed the excitement of discovery and it has been nice to be involved in something significant and that it is going on locally.”

 “Good to be accepted for what I am – an enthusiastic amateur – and made to feel welcome by the organisers of the project. When I have offered ideas or perspectives based on my own expertise, this has generally been welcomed so I feel that I am contributing something worthwhile.”

 “Made welcome by the other volunteers … easy to be drawn into the group.”

 “Really welcoming from the start and it has continued to be welcoming…our skills bring us together.”

 “Always enjoyable … I’ve tried a bit of everything.”

 “Very, very interesting, the whole thing has been enjoyable  … and I have enjoyed meeting the other volunteers.”

Involvement in IAJ has added to people’s knowledge:

“It has given me greater insight into the world of archaeology, opening up new possibilities.”

 “The new techniques have had an educational impact on me; I’ve got a much wider knowledge base now.”

 “I have been able to pursue an existing interest in greater detail, as well as being prompted to experiment with my technique in another creative hobby.”

It has also been a prompt to pursuing further educational opportunities, from simply reading into the subject away from the project itself, through attendance at a residential course at a university, to taking up an Open University course:

“I cannot emphasise enough the enjoyment and satisfaction of learning new things and new practical skills …. this is an important and valuable part of what IAJ means to me …. it is very satisfying to learn new stuff at my age.”

For four of the seven volunteers, IAJ had come along at a significant point in their lives. One person’s family had now ‘flown the nest’ and IAJ offers companionship and a way to keep active. For three of the seven people interviewed, IAJ has coincided with their retirement:

“It’s been brilliant – it’s made my retirement much more interesting and purposeful.”

 “It has offered me some structure, as I am newly retired – it is keeping me active and in circulation.”

Impact can also be measured in terms of telling others about IAJ involvement, and on average the volunteers told 8.6 friends and colleagues and 5.4 family and relatives about their IAJ work, spreading the word about Farndon Fields in the process.