Durham University Wish Tree branches out for local charities
(19 January 2021)
Staff and students from Durham University have donated more than £1,300 to two local charities following a successful annual Christmas fundraising appeal.
Each festive season, the University’s Student Union choose the causes they wish to support through their Christmas Wish Tree campaign and this year’s chosen charities were Children North East and REfUSE.
Children North East works with children and young people in their families, schools and communities to ensure they grow up to be healthy and happy, whilst REfUSE is a community café in Chester-le-Street, which intercepts food before it becomes waste and uses it to make food for local people.
The Christmas Wish Tree campaign was a little different this year due to Covid-19. Liz Waller, Director of University Library and Collections, University Librarian, said: “We are unbelievably grateful to everyone who contributed to our Christmas Wish Tree fundraising efforts, particularly during these uncertain times. In previous years, we have asked our University community to purchase specific items from the charities’ wish lists, wrap them and return them to Bill Bryson to put under the tree. With the pandemic forcing us to change our approach and ask for monetary donations we were concerned about what people might contribute. The result though is amazing, and we are thrilled with the total donated to each of our chosen charities.”
Leigh Elliott, Chief Executive of Children North East, said: “We are so grateful to the staff and students at Durham University for this fantastic donation. Many of the families we work with will be experiencing real problems under this current lockdown and this will enable us to continue to provide food parcels, resource packs and other help to our beneficiaries. Thank you to everyone who took part.”
Nikki Dravers, founder of REfUSE, said: "Our hearts broke reading some of the messages we received this Christmas, hearing just how much people are struggling to even put a meal on the table for their families. It is a privilege to have been able to provide over 8,500 boxes or bags of food in 2020, and we are set to continue to grow in 2021, thanks to support like this from Durham University staff and students. Thank you all for your generosity and support."