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Colleges and wider student experience



Durham students volunteer their time and skills to a range of 50 projects and activities in the local community, including sports, conservation and outreach. 

Many students feel they want to give something back to the local community they call home while living in and around Durham City.

Others want to take the opportunity to travel and help communities across the world. Volunteering, getting involved in fundraising or participating in an outreach project can be a fun way to do this. The varied range of outreach projects in which you can take part also provide great opportunities to gain work experience that can enhance your future career prospects

Student Volunteering

Every year student volunteers work in local community projects through college initiatives and Student Community Action (SCA). SCA runs 50 community, educational and recreational projects each year and offer additional support to many others. SCA is student-led and student-focused, matching volunteers to activities including sport, decorating and gardening, conservation projects, and even prison visiting. It is easy to volunteer; there are SCA Reps attached to each college and in return for giving your time, you get to learn new skills and meet new people.

SCA projects include: One to one tutoring, FEED Food Bank,Dog walking and Generations Together

Student Community Action (SCA) 6th Form Tutoring Project

Student Community Action (SCA) 6th Form Tutoring Project

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Durham University students from (SCA) volunteer to tutor local 6th form students, working with them to offer help and support throughout their studies.

In 2015/16 DUCK raised over £150,000 for a range of local, national and international charities. Over £11,000 of this money went through the DUCK Allocations Process, to provide grants for local charities in North East England


Anyone interested in charity fundraising is welcome to join the award-winning Durham University Charity Kommittee (DUCK). As an integral part of Durham Students’ Union, DUCK consistently raise significant funds to support local, national and international charity projects.

DUCK sends students to do charitable work all around the world, from Jordan to Edinburgh to Tanzania. Local DUCK events, like the famous annual Grand Durham rubber duck race, bring the whole community together to help raise money for local charities. All of this is made possible through the hard work and dedication of students who do whatever it takes to raise money for 120 charitable causes.

Help a new generation

Our Student Association Scheme offers opportunities to work with children in local schools, helping to raise their aspirations and achieve more. Anyone interested in a career in teaching or working with young people can gain hands-on experience in a classroom. If you choose to participate in the scheme, you receive full training and even get paid a bursary once you have completed a 15-day placement.

There are also opportunities to become a Durham Student Ambassador, working on a host of activities including one-to-one mentoring with other students, summer schools and University recruitment events.

Overseas projects

Durham University has many links across the world and aims to strengthen these on all occasions through its staff and students. Many of our students get involved in charity projects overseas such as Project Sri Lanka and Project Thailand. 

Student volunteers are also involved in Sport Action Zambia which focuses on sports development and personal development through sports projects.

Help the environment

We are committed to maintaining and improving the quality of the environment. There are many student-run environmental initiatives that you can support by getting involved with projects ranging from local food production to wildlife preservation. We also have our own environment office, Greenspace, which works with students in all colleges to undertake a range of initiatives including Environment Week, energy competitions and the Green Move Out Scheme. Find out more or sign up to the environment bulletin via the Greenspace student webpages.

Durham University Summer Sports Camps

Durham University Summer Sports Camps

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Watch this short film to find out more about what Durham students make happen during school holidays for hundreds of children of all ages with the Team Durham Sports Camps.

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