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Durham University

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Staff and students give big to help good causes at Christmas

(18 December 2018)

Staff pack hampers for Feeding Families

Staff and students have shown their generosity by supporting several charity appeals this Christmas.

Christmas Wish Tree

At the Bill Bryson Library, gifts donated for local charities mounted up under a ‘Christmas Wish Tree’.

Staff and students were invited to buy and wrap gifts from Christmas wish lists submitted by three chosen charities: Age UK County Durham, Moving On Durham and Durham Action on Single Housing (DASH).

Gifts donated included Christmas treats, winter clothing, toiletries, cleaning products for Moving On Durham’s Clean Christmas initiative and stationery and art materials for DASH.

Feeding Families

Our Staff Volunteering and Outreach team organised a University-wide collection of food and household items for the charity Feeding Families.

Donations of both seasonal treats and daily essentials were collected into hampers, to be distributed in time for Christmas.

In total, over 2,000 items were donated, making up 55 hampers, and helping at least 26 families.

Mission Christmas

And our Careers and Enterprise Office acted as a collection point for Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas appeal, which raises money and donations for disadvantaged children.

In total, 279 gifts were donated.

What we said…

Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are very glad to be able to support so many worthy causes this Christmas, and I am pleased we have been able to make such a significant contribution. The generosity of our staff and students, whether through supporting local charities, volunteering or supporting one of our many community outreach projects, is truly inspirational. From all of us at Durham University, a very happy Christmas to all.”

What they said…

Christine Fletcher, Development Manager at Age UK County Durham, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled. These gifts will go to people who don’t normally get a present at Christmas. The demands on our service are such that we never fulfil the needs of all older people who need our help. When it comes to Christmas we’re at the mercy of food collections and donations to help older people stay safe and well.”

Linda Weir, from Moving On Durham, said: “This comes at the perfect time. It’s absolutely brilliant and we’re so grateful for everything that everyone’s given.”

Trevor Atkinson, Business Development Manager at DASH, said: “We’re very grateful to those who donated to the Durham University Christmas Wish Tree appeal. We house people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and these are all very useful gifts which will be much appreciated by our residents at Christmas time.”

Juliet Sanders, founder of Feeding Families, said: “Feeding Families is blow away by the total of 55 hampers donated by Durham University. These will be given to some of the most vulnerable families, without which Christmas would be a bleak and stressful affair. Giving a hamper not only feeds the body but also the soul, reminding people they are of value and cared about by the community.”