Chantelle Dollimore

Vindolanda is one of the world’s most important Roman archaeological sites. Located near the modern village of Bardon Mill in Northumberland is lies one mile south of Hadrians wall. Predating the wall it served as an auxiliary fort (castrum) that saw a lot of activities from the communities that resided there over the years.
Since its inception in the 1970s over 8000 people have participated in the volunteer program at Vindolanda to attempt to understand more the communities that lived there and challenge the current understanding of what life might have been like in the Roman frontier.
Participants can either be involved in the excavations (getting down to the nitty gritty of things in the trenches) and post-excavation (handling, cleaning and sorting the materials uncovered at the site) for up to four weeks spending 5/7 days a week on site. My brother and myself were lucky enough to be accepted on the 2018 program on excavations where we were helping uncover information about the Northern Severan ditch (c. 200-212 A.D.). A round up of last years can be seen in this blog: https://www.vindolanda.com/blog/2018-excavations-round-up
One thing that I noticed on my stint in the program last year is the unwavering dedication and enthusiasm from everyone no matter the weather – from site director the illustrious Dr Andrew Birley and foreign accent enthusiast archaeologist Marta to all my volunteers including fellow fundraiser (who might I add is 74 years old and has been excavating for the last 15 years) Graham Ryan.
Although I will not be participating in excavations this year I would like to give back to this volunteering community through helping them raise the £100k needed to create a new multi-purpose facility. This facility not only is easier to access but can also be used all year round and will have a better environmental impact than the current wooden sheds that stand there now. You can read more and see a video of the plans here: https://www.vindolanda.com/appeal/vindolanda-archaeology-centre
With that in mind I thought it only fair to look for donations by doing something big. That something big is walking all 84 miles of the wall! So in August I will be undertaking the wall walk over seven days. With the aid of a brilliant playlist, nice weather, fellow New Zealander and my biggest supporter (my mum) and our important mascot rubber duck Maximus Decimus Quacksus we will walk the wall where they placed 80 mile castles and 158 turrets to defend the Roman world.
We are aiming to raise at least £1,000 and for as little as £11.91 you can sponsor me for one mile of the wall!

Chantelle Dollimore