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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

Latest News and Updates

Keep up to date with all the latest news and updates.

Staff and student volunteers making a difference

(25 June 2020)

A student volunteer helping at a Code Club

We’re proud of the great volunteering that our staff and students do for many local charities and good causes. The best of this year’s volunteering was honoured at our annual Volunteering Awards.

Supporting volunteers to make a difference

Each year, over 2,000 students undertake volunteering; giving a total of almost 40,000 hours of their time. This is up from 1,000 students volunteering for a total of 14,000 hours just four years ago and earlier this month our Student Volunteering and Outreach received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award for community volunteering in the UK.

In addition, last year over 400 University staff undertook volunteering; giving over 6,000 hours of their time. We support staff colleagues to volunteer up to five days per year in during work-time, with full pay.

Last year was a record for how many staff volunteered, how many hours they volunteered for and the impact they had. Volunteering hours were up nearly a quarter on the previous year and the number of active staff volunteers increased by 16%.

And the winner is…

Our Volunteering Awards honour the best in student and staff volunteering.

This year’s awards were held remotely via Zoom and Facebook on Wednesday 24 June.

The Student Volunteer of the Year prize went to Amathul Farhath, a Law undergraduate at Trevelyan College, who volunteers with the County Durham Youth Offending Service as a mentor and for young offenders and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, helping tenants with housing issues.

The Staff Volunteer of the Year prize went to Jennifer Smith, an Instructional Design Officer at Durham University Business School, who organised hampers to be packed for distribution by the charity Feeding Families and ran a ‘wear your pyjamas to work’ day to raise money for the cause.

Many of the nominees had undertaken volunteering linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as technical staff Paul White and Colin Wintrip, who organised colleagues to make face visors and shields for frontline workers.

How you can get involved…

We’re grateful to our many community partners, who work with us to host staff and student volunteers.

Maybe you’re involved with a charity that is not yet partnering with us. We would love to hear from you. Perhaps next year, it will be your volunteers picking up an award!