Support Us

Can you help strengthen our long term future and build better lives through heritage?

As for many organisations, the coronavirus crisis is causing unpredictable and significant concerns for DIG and our sister attractions in York.

We have reacted to this challenge by developing a brand-new virtual engagement programme – ‘Virtual Vikings’, that will deliver similar on-line experiences to school classes, which we want to launch during the autumn term. This programme will enable our well-regarded learning team to deliver interactive sessions directly to classrooms across the UK, supporting teachers to provide history, literacy, science and other cross-curricular sessions.

Owned and managed by York Archaeological Trust, we are part of a self-sustaining educational charity that generates income through the generosity of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends. To help us create this valuable new offer for school children across the UK who cannot now visit our attractions, we need to purchase the technical equipment and learning resources to deliver it. We would be hugely grateful for your support helping us raise £120,000 to cover the costs of developing and running this exciting and beneficial new project.

How can you help?

Make a donation – you can donate online. When we re-open our attractions, you will also be able to donate by phone.

Buy tickets for a future visit – you can book now for future visits to DIG and our other attractions, and we’ll guarantee a rebooking if we aren’t open on that date.


Who is York Archaeological Trust?

Hungate Open DayYork Archaeological Trust (YAT) is an independent educational charity and one of the leading archaeological organisations in the UK. Founded in 1972, our mission is to Build Better Lives Through Heritage, and we have an exceptional reputation for delivering high quality research and public engagement.

We offer archaeological services and operate world-class visitor attractions to self-generate funding for our charitable aims, which are:

– To enable and undertake research and ensure public impact
– To change the strategic model of archaeological practice
– To sustain and develop participation and increase diversity
– To educate and empower people
– To act as advocates for the importance of heritage


Where will your donation go?

Your donation will go towards developing a brand-new virtual engagement programme – ‘Virtual Vikings’. To help us create this valuable new offer for school children across the UK who cannot now visit our attractions, we need to purchase the technical equipment and learning resources to deliver it.

As we move into the future and face new challenges, we want to make sure that we sustain York Archaeological Trust for future generations by continuing to invest in the education of young people. While we look forwards to welcoming many students back to our attractions and events when circumstances allow, by developing exciting new virtual offers we can maintain vital engagement with them as well as vital income that supports our range of charitable activities.

Our lost ticket income would ordinarily cover these costs as well as contribute to our diverse charitable activities, so your donation will also help us meet these commitments.

Donate now

Our charitable activities

Celebrating York’s Norse heritage
JORVIK Viking Festival is the largest family-friendly, educational Viking Festival in the UK (if not the world!). Taking place every February half term in York and welcoming tens of thousands of visitors, the Festival is sustained by our attractions income and is a major annual undertaking for our small team. We’re proud to present this immersive opportunity for visitors to engage with York’s Norse heritage, that also generates millions of pounds for the local economy.

Enriching children’s learning
schools project charityWe invite local school children to participate in free-to-access projects to enrich their learning. With themes ranging from Agincourt 600 to medieval medicine to Viking voyages, these projects include free trips to our attractions, bespoke school outreach visits by our dedicated learning team, bringing in artists and writers to work with the children and producing displays and performances of the children’s work.

Local children are also encouraged to engage outside of school, such as with the annual Bloodaxe Book Challenge that we organise in partnership with York Explore Libraries. We provide all participation materials, arrange author events and promote the Challenge to our extensive audiences.

Building teacher confidence in immersive history and archaeology
Our learning team regularly delivers free-of-charge Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training for teachers. With our range of day courses on immersive teaching of KS1 and KS2 history topics and using archaeology topics in the classroom, we aim to build teacher confidence with these subjects and using hands-on skills for historical enquiry.

Nurturing the next generation of historical educators
We offer placements for students and young people in the heritage sector, including trainee teachers, aspiring museum educators, researchers, designers and animators, in partnership with regional education providers. Amounting to hundreds of hours of free mentoring, our attractions provide a unique setting to build skills and experience.

Exploring shared community heritage
YourDIG Help for Heroes - YourDIGWith our YourDIG programme, we work with local community partners to discover their heritage in unusual and immersive ways. Participants are empowered to explore diverse themes like archaeology soundscapes, Viking mythology and World War One memorials, to create and curate fascinating exhibitions, creative writing and drama performances.

The groups we work with might not be part of traditional heritage audiences, or may experience obstacles to engaging with our attractions and archaeological sites. Our community projects aim to broaden accessibility to our activities, and to establish a new inclusivity standard for the heritage sector.

Other community projects include running the Church Explorers programme, where we offer free courses on researching and recording the history of the region’s churches, and regularly giving free talks to community groups and societies (as well as for universities and professional bodies).

Supporting international research
Our in-house team assist UK-based and international research in a range of disciplines, from archaeological sciences, conservation and curatorial services to tourism, museum studies and public history, with access to our expertise and internationally significant collections.

Donate now