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Durham University

Durham University News


Durham students helping charities

(9 June 2017)

DURHAM University students are encouraging more good causes to benefit from their charity fundraising efforts.

Durham University Charities Kommittee (DUCK), the fundraising arm of Durham Students’ Union, raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity each year, with more than £10,000 being distributed annually to local charities through its Allocation Fund.

This Fund is specifically for charities working within 50 miles of Durham Students’ Union or the University’s Queen’s Campus in Stockton. Last year a total of £11,348.95 was distributed to more than 20 good causes.

Funding available

But DUCK is keen to receive funding applications from new sources and support more local charities. Typically, grants range from £100 to £1,000. This year DUCK has joined forces with the County Durham Community Foundation, so local charities can now apply for grant funding through the Foundation.

One of the biggest student-led organisations in the UK, DUCK raises money through sponsored expeditions, challenges and events. These include the ever-popular DUCK Race, which sees thousands of plastic ducks “race” down the River Wear, having been dropped into the water from Elvet Bridge.

Local charities to have benefitted from DUCK funding include the Grace House North East short break and respite facility, the Just for Women Centre in Stanley, the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team and Stray Aid in Coxhoe.

'Giving something back'

Bethany Fleming, this year’s DUCK Chair, said: “DUCK has been a huge part of my university life. In my first year I was part of the DUCK team in my College and took part in events including a Durham Cathedral Sleep Out. In my second year I was a DUCK representative, which involved planning, organising and carrying out a range of events. 

“I wanted to be DUCK Chair to give something back. It’s a pleasure to be able to raise money for some fantastic causes.”

World-class student experience

DUCK is an important part of the Durham student experience, which the University’s new ten-year Strategy includes ambitious proposals to enhance. These include building a new facility for Durham Students’ Union, improving sports facilities and increasing opportunities for student volunteering.

Owen Adams, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), said: “DUCK is a great example of how our students have a positive impact in Durham City and North East England. The amount of money they raise each year is astounding and I would encourage any charities and good causes interested in finding out more to get in touch.”

For more information about Durham University Charities Kommittee, visit

For more information on Durham University’s contribution to the North-East, visit