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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

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Royal award for student volunteering and outreach

(2 June 2020)

Students regularly run community tea parties

We’re proud that our students do great community work for many local charities and good causes. Now that work has been recognised by The Queen!

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Our Student Volunteering and Outreach (DUSVO) has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

That’s the highest award given for community volunteering in the UK.

More about student volunteering…

Each year, over 2,000 of our students volunteer – giving a total of over 40,000 hours of their time.

They now support over 80 projects in North East England, covering social inclusion and complex needs, education and environment and sport and physical activity.

Last year, over 2,500 people benefitted directly from these outreach programmes, including people who are young, elderly, homeless or have learning or physical disabilities.

The impact…

One of DUSVO’s longest-standing projects is Children Achieving Through Student Support (CATSS), which provides free activities for children with limited social opportunities.

Lynn Stavers, a School and Family Worker at Pelton Community Primary School and Beamish Primary School (Federation), near Chester-le-Street, County Durham, has referred children to CATSS for the past three years.

She said: “I have witnessed the fantastic interaction between the student volunteers working on the project and the children – the students are enthusiastic, friendly and very welcoming.

“The project makes a massive difference to the children who attend. I can’t praise or thank this project enough for allowing some of our most vulnerable children to have this amazing experience.”

What next?

We’re currently working to encourage more volunteering, with the aim of increasing volunteering across our students and staff to 100,000 hours per year by 2027.

If you would like to know more, please get in touch.