William Fakes (13) From Middleton, Leeds Scoops £250 As Young Archaeologist Of The Year

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William Fakes (13) from Middleton in Leeds was presented with a cheque for £250 and the title of Young Archaeologist of the Year at an event in Middleton Park’s Visitor Centre on Saturday 16th January.
William is the founding member of the Leeds Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC). He is a Year 8 pupil at Royds School and has overcome a number of personal difficulties. He was presented with his award by Nicky Milsted from YAC HQ. She said:
"It was an honour to meet William. I was immediately drawn in by his enthusiastic attitude and love of archaeology. He is an asset to Leeds YAC and is obviously respected by all his fellow members. I’m sure he will go far and that the archaeological community should watch out for his name".
Councillor Kim Groves, who represents the Middleton Park ward, joined Leeds YAC members, leaders and parents for the presentation. She said:
"The visitor centre is extremely popular with visitors of all ages to Middleton Park, and it is brilliant news that William, who is a member of the Leeds Young Archaeologists’ Club that meet regularly at the facility, has been awarded this tremendous accolade. To be told that Middleton Park is the perfect surroundings for William as he undertakes his archaeology research makes us very proud, and given his undoubted talent, I don’t think this will be the last time that we hear of his achievements in this fascinating field of work”.
William himself was thrilled and surprised by the award. He said:
"When I found out I’d won I was speechless, literally. It was phenomenal just to be nominated and I really didn’t think I’d win. The best thing about archaeology is getting muddy, very very muddy, and I love military history. I’d like to do further study in archaeology. One thing’s for sure: I’ll never have a job that involves chairs and desks!"
Margaret Baker, William’s key support teacher from Royds School said:
"We are so proud to have such an extraordinary young student. William is a pleasure to have as part of our school community".
Leeds Young Archaeologists’ Club was set up following a successful school history project delivered as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Parks for People regeneration of Middleton Park. Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
"We are so pleased that William has received national recognition through the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award. At HLF we are dedicated about funding projects that help people to learn about their local heritage and through the project at Middleton Park, William has been able to show his passion and enthusiasm for history and archaeology".
The Young Archaeologist of the Year Award is one of three Marsh Awards for Community Archaeology. They are run in partnership between the Marsh Christian Trust and the Council for British Archaeology, and are given to recognise and promote high quality archaeological work being carried out across the community archaeology sector.

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