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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

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Staff and students honoured for voluntary work

(25 June 2018)

Staff and students have been honoured for their community work at the annual Durham University Volunteer Awards.

Every year, staff and students dedicate around 25,000 hours to volunteering, supporting a range of local charities and good causes.

The University supports and encourages its staff and students to volunteer, including offering staff the opportunity to volunteer for up to five days a year in work time, and Durham is the only UK university to hold Investing in Volunteer accreditation for both students and staff.

The Volunteer Awards recognise the achievements of the year gone by, and this year’s ceremony was held at Durham Town Hall on Tuesday 12 June.

Community spirit

Owen Adams, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), said: “It was a pleasure to honour the outstanding achievements of our staff and students in volunteering. I know our students value the relationships they build with members of the local community – it is a very important and special part of life for so many of our students.

“There were many inspiring examples of community spirit, and my congratulations go to all involved in this valuable work supporting such a wide range of charities and good causes.

“Whilst our staff and students already do so much, we are committed to doing even more and we specifically want to work with the local community to understand how we can best achieve this.”

Staff awards

The winners of the Best Staff Volunteer (Team) Award were staff from Computing and Information Services, for their dedication to volunteering annually for a range charities and organisations, and for their unflinching enthusiasm despite seeming to attract the worst weather across a series of volunteer days.

The joint winners of the Best Staff Volunteer (Individual) Award were Graham Moor and Sarah Litt.

Graham, who works at the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, was honoured for his work for Northumbria Blood Bikes as both rider and organiser. One of Graham’s colleagues said of him: “It is our belief that Graham epitomises the ethos of the Staff Volunteering Scheme”.

Sarah, who is part of University Catering and based Ustinov College, used her staff volunteering time to undertake special training to enhance her role as a Special Constable for Durham Constabulary. One of Sarah’s colleagues said: “If Sarah is a representative example of your staff, then you should be very proud to have some of the best people in the County in your employ.”

Student awards

The Community Impact Award was presented to Student Community Action’s (SCA) Tea Parties project, which brings generations together through tea parties.

The winner of the Most Improved Project was Van Mildert College’s Carers Respite Committee, which supports carers of disabled children. A new ‘Happy Saturday’ session has been established, allowing more families to participate.

The other winners were SCA’s Go Out and Live project, which supports young adults with learning disabilities to develop social skills and confidence through games, and Team Durham Community’s Participation Football project, which organises football activities for adults with health and mobility problems, mental health issues or who are part of the recovery or probation communities.