Updated on 30th June 2020.

On 20th March 2020 the Vindolanda Trust had to close its doors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum in response to the fight against COVID-19. ALL the Trust's operating income comes from admissions to our sites, spend in our shops and cafes and from donations. As the majority of our income stream has stopped we have launched this survival appeal to help keep the Vindolanda Trust operating behind the scenes and continue to maintain and care for our sites.

This year we are celebrating our 50th birthday all year. We hope that you will be able to celebrate with us and show your support through this tough time. We desperately need your support and know that even the smallest amounts will collectively make a difference to us.

As of the 30th June we have raised £23,718.12 towards our £100,000 target and we are extremely grateful for the generosity of those who have supported us. 

We are excited and thrilled to announce the Vindolanda Trust Roman Birthday Party challenge. 

The Vindolanda tablets inform us that around 100 AD, a Roman noblewoman called Claudia Severa sent a now famous birthday party invitation to the commanding officer’s wife, Sulpicia Lepidina:

 “On 11 September, sister, for the day of the celebration of my birthday.  I give you a warm invitation to make sure that you come to us, to make the day more enjoyable for me by your arrival.”

Nineteen hundred years later, the Vindolanda Trust has received an equally welcome and generous invitation.  Vindolanda supporter and Hadrian’s Wall pilgrim Richard Beleson has offered to donate up to £50,000 by a two-for-one match for every donation we receive from now until September 11th.  If we succeed in matching this challenge by raising £25,000, we will raise a total of £75,000, enabling us to reach our Survival Appeal goal of £100,000.

Every penny raised by the Roman Birthday party challenge goes towards our survival appeal and it protects not only the Vindolanda Trust but also the opportunities it represents for thousands of volunteers from all walks of life to engage with the archaeology and research at the site. 

The Vindolanda Trust has reached the most critical point of the covid19 pandemic, the most dangerous moment, as we carefully open our site and museums. The cost of doing so without a steady income and reduced visitor numbers will have a further impact on the research and opportunities for engagement in this part of the World Heritage Site. During this crisis the Vindolanda Trust has carefully managed its resources, but despite this they have steadily diminished and the Charity has lost over half a million pounds in income.  

Will you help us rise to the Roman Birthday Party challenge? Together we can make 2020 the year that we celebrate securing the Roman site of Vindolanda for future generations to explore, learn and enjoy. Help us protect the home of Britain’s top Roman treasures and an important part of our shared history. 

Virtual gifts will be available for purchase throughout the whole of our birthday year and every donation made in this new challenge period will be matched and doubled! Here are the stats of what has been virtually gifted so far (30th June 2020):

Help us celebrate by donating a virtual gift of your own. Choose which gift you would like to give and we'll receive a donation for that amount. Big or small all of your donations make a difference and will help us to reach our target. If you would like to leave a message to tell us and others why you are donating we love to read them.


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