Introducing… Our Skills for the Future graduate trainee

  • 27th December 2014

My name is Sarah Ganderton. I love museums, charity shops, crafts, movies, chocolate and warm woolly socks.

I joined the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service as a Skills for the Future Trainee in July.  This is through a Heritage Lottery Funded project called Growing Worcestershire’s Treasures.  On our training scheme seven of us have the opportunity to work in different museums and archives around Worcester, and together we are studying on a Post Graduate course at the University of Worcester, in Leadership and Management (Heritage). 

Before starting at The Hive as the trainee I had volunteered here and at several other heritage sites and projects around Worcestershire.  I helped locate and record bound copies of the Worcester Evening News, and worked in Conservation to clean Quarter Session records.  I also worked on a project to research royal visits to Worcester.  I even worked here as a student ambassador, helping when the Queen opened the building and in a photo-shoot to advertise the Hive, so I was already a familiar face around the place.

 Sarah, at home helping the public on the Explore the Past desk (Level 2, The Hive)

Since starting on the traineeship I have had the opportunity to work with many different colleagues, learning new skills and trying out things I have never done before. 

There is no such thing as a typical week for me, but as an example, here are the many things I got up to in one week in November:

Sunday 9th November – completed a blog post for the traineeship website, talking about my visit to Dudley which I organised myself, and what I learned there.  

Monday 10th November – PG Cert with the other trainees.  Learning about leadership and management, through discussion, action learning sets and information from the tutor.

Tuesday 11th November – working on the Explore the Past desk.  This is an opportunity to work with customers who wish to use the archives.  I love answering queries – when I am able to – and love finding the boxes from the strong rooms to help people access the historic records.

Wednesday 12th November – meetings and Conservation.  Talked with Lisa my supervisor about the Microfilm Reader Printer Guide I am creating, and met with the Learning and Outreach team about the impending Archaeology Day School.  In the afternoon I helped Rhonda in Conservation, sticking things back into scrapbooks.

Sarah helping out in the Conservation lab

Thursday 13th November – delivering a school workshop in Birmingham.  This was an early start to get to Birmingham on time to help Rob the Archaeologist.  Thankfully he did most of the talking as my archaeology knowledge is limited, but I loved helping the children make iron age-style clay pots, and they seemed to enjoy it too.

Friday 14th November (a day off in lieu of Saturday…)

Saturday 15th November – the Archaeology Day School.  I arrived early to put up signs around the University of Worcester St Johns campus, then helped by ushering people and answering queries through the day before clearing up at the end.  I had also helped with preparations for the day, administering bookings and proof reading the leaflet.

I am loving the chance to work here, learning from the many skilled individuals, and helping customers with their research.  The traineeship gives me the opportunity of post graduate study and working with the other trainees provides all of us with a lovely support network, while we work in our different venues.

Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service is currently seeking funding opportunities to allow us to host further graduate training opportunities; in the meantime, we are able to offer a limited number of 100-hour voluntary university placement opportunities. If you would like more information on potential placement opportunities please contact us at or

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