‘Groundbreaking’ Roman project receives £0.25m boost
An award-winning North West heritage agency has been successful in securing £250,000 to help continue an innovative Roman medicine themed education project aimed at schools in Merseyside and Cheshire.
The Roman Medicine Roadshow, delivered by Big Heritage- a heritage agency based in Wirral, is a series of free workshops based on the history of medicine in the Roman world.
The project received the cash boost from one of the world’s biggest funding bodies, The Wellcome Trust, after the Big Heritage team pitched to a judging panel which included TV’s Professor Alice Roberts. The panel were excited by "the passion, drive and energy of the project team in bringing an excellent experience to school children" and agreed to support the project with an additional £200,000 cash fund over and above the £50,000 the team had received to start the project in 2012.
The funding will enable to the Big Heritage team to deliver the free workshops to over 30,000 children in primary and secondary schools in the region, until 2016.
University of Chester Archaeology graduate, Dean Paton from Bromborough, Wirral established Big Heritage in 2011 and believes that the funding agreement is a testament to Big Heritage’s unique blend of quality research and engagement. He said: “It’s going to be great fun expanding this project across the North West, particularly given the strong Roman heritage in the area. However, the Roman element is only scratching the surface of the project as the workshops delve into ethical issues such as debating euthanasia, debunking pseudoscience, faith-healing and quackery.”
In addition to delivering free school workshops, the Big Heritage team are due to fly to a number of sites across Europe and the Middle East to film a documentary following in the footsteps of Galen of Pergamon – arguably Rome’s greatest physician. Despite the exotic locations, the project will be firmly grounded in the North West, with events and exhibitions in Liverpool and Chester already in discussion.