Friday, 11 September 2009

History helps duo back to work

Cataloguing collections of ancient bones or helping to look after motorcycles from yesteryear may sound like exciting opportunities for many job-seekers across Swansea.

And that's exactly what two formerly unemployed men now find themselves doing in the workplace thanks to a work placement scheme involving Swansea Council and the Shaw Trust - a charity that helps people with disabilities find work.

Aaron Rowlands and Nicholas Riall have both been taken on at Swansea Museum on Victoria Road and now find themselves thriving in the environment.

Nicholas, an archaeologist by trade, is charged with documenting the Ice Age materials in storage while Aaron's work sees him covering Swansea Museum's main reception and looking after its Landore Collections Centre when it opens to the public on Wednesdays.

It's thought some of the bones Nicholas is studying may be among the oldest in the UK.

Nicholas said: "Digging outdoors as part of my archaeological work was no longer an option for me because of my age so I decided to look for experience in museum exhibitions and cataloguing.

"It's been a real privilege to work on an internationally important collection and to work alongside terrific staff at the museum."

Aaron initially joined the museum for a placement on a part-time, three-month basis but this has now been extended to six months because of the impression he's made.

Aaron said: "The time I have had at Swansea Museum so far has been very uplifting.

"I've met wonderful people and have been challenged to do things I would not normally do in my everyday life. It's inspiring."

Garethe El-Tawab, Swansea Museum Curator, said: "Swansea Museum is a fascinating place to work because of the diversity of exhibitions we put together and the historic artefacts we're privileged to document and put on display.

"The Shaw Trust undertakes excellent work in helping people back into the workplace and both Nicholas and Aaron have become valued members of the team since their arrival."

Visit for more information about Swansea Museum or call 01792 653763.

Have a look at for more details about the Shaw Trust.


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