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Staff Volunteering and Outreach

Individual Volunteer Vacancies

Below are opportunities offered by some of partners that the Staff Volunteering & Outreach team currently work with. Please register your interest if you would like further information about these opportunities.

Durham Business Ambassadors

Working with the Durham Education Business Partnership, volunteer Business Ambassadors are sought to help deliver career and enterprise sessions in primary and secondary schools across County Durham. Find out more from Business Ambassador volunteer, Jen Barton.

When: Flexible - 2-3 sessions per academic year and half-day training sessions are available throughout the year

Where: Throughout County Durham

School Governors

Many schools throughout the North East are seeking School Governors. In partnership with SGOSS we are seeking staff members who are interested in becoming governors. Volunteers do not need any previous experience. Meetings usually take place once or twice per school term, in the late afternoon and early evening.

When:Weekday afternoon meetings, once or twice per term

Where: Countywide

Charity Trustees

Many charities throughout the North East are seeking trustees to join their board in a variety of capacities. Whilst volunteers do not need any previous experience, it is advised that you have an interest/passion for the organisation. If you require training or further information, the SVO Team will endeavour to coordinate this with CAVOS. See current vacancies and opportunities here.


Where: Countywide

Wildlife monitor with Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Seasonal)

Volunteers are needed to monitor nest-boxes which have been hung around University woodland. Other monitoring tasks available include: mammal cameras, moth traps and general monitoring.

When: Flexible -although suggested as lunch time walk.

Where: Great High Woods

Durham Regatta

The 183rd Durham Regatta will take place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2016. The Durham Regatta Committee are looking for general volunteers to help out with the organisation and running of the event. They are also looking for an individual to take on the role of Treasurer on the Committee. If you are interested in applying to volunteer in either position, please contact the Committee Secretary.

Drug Testing and Research with the Loop

The Loop specialise in drug awareness and harm reduction, and work on the ground throughout the summer at various festivals in the UK and abroad. They are looking for volunteers to help to research drug use at festivals, and those with experience or interest in drug testing to assist in testing substances of concern. They also have opportunities for general welfare at festivals.

When: A number of dates over the summer/ ongoing

Where: Various sites across UK & Europe (expenses paid)

Contact: Fiona Measham

Durham Pointers

Durham Pointers were set up in 2012 to provide a welcoming, information and mobile signposting service to visitors of Durham City. They cover special events such as University Open Days and the Christmas Fayre. They are looking for more volunteers to improve and extend their services.

When: Flexible 2 hour sessions (including weekends)

Where: Durham City

Contact: Colin Wilkes

Northumbria BloodBikes

Northumbria Blood Bikes is a charity which uses volunteers on specially adapted motorcycles to transport blood and other urgent medical supplies around NHS organisations in the North East, and the Great North Air Ambulance 365 days of the year. They are looking for volunteers to perform two key tasks; coordinators to work out of hours, from home, to take calls from hospitals and people to undertake fundraising activities. In some cases, formal 1-hour training sessions, then work shadowing by a volunteer is necessary to start.

When: Coordinators - any time which you can commit to during our operating hours, Fundraisers - weekends or supermarket collections on working days

Where: Coordinators - from home, Fundraisers - Region Wide

Contact: Graham Moor

Communication Support Service- Stroke Association

Working with the Stroke Association to help provide assistance to people who have communication difficulties following a stroke in either a group, on a one-to-one basis in their homes. or support meetings under the direction of the Communication Support Co-ordinator. An awareness induction programme is required. Download the full role description here.

When: Flexible

Where: Durham region

Hear to Help- Action on Hearing Loss

Following training you could provide support and advice to hearing aid users and their networks. Volunteers will undertake basic maintenance on hearing aids as well as act as an advocate for Action on Hearing Loss. A one-day induction programme and further training is required. Full role description here.

When: Clinics approximately once a month for 1-2 hours. Sessions vary from a few hours to a full day.

Where: Throughout Durham and Darlington

Contact: Sandra Wellburn.

Waddington Street Volunteer Speaker

Waddington Street is a mental health charity based in the centre of Durham. They run a weekly programme of events for service users; including talks on a multitude of topics. They are looking for members of the university who are willing to come to the centre to deliver talks on a topic of their choice as a one-off or over a few weeks.

When: Flexible - 2-3 hours

Where: Waddington Street Centre, Durham City

Citizen's Advice County Durham

Citizens Advice County Durham are looking for volunteers to be part of their Research & Campaigns Team. CACD is a registered charity which has a passion for changing people’s lives for the better. The Service aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives. The charity is building a Research & Campaigns Team to focus on local issues that affect service users, and develop effective campaigns which encourage policy change.Activities will include monitoring and analysing information, and initiating and planning local action for change. A full role description is available here.

When: TBC

Where: CACD Centres, County Durham

RT Projects

RT Projects are a charity that provides art and creative activities to promote good mental health, based in Gilesgate. They are looking for volunteers to help them with various things; including bookkeeping and financial administration, general administration, IT assistance and general roles as support workers for service users. Volunteers are free to ‘mix and match’ their skills across these roles.

When: Ongoing

Where: RT Projects, Gilesgate

Below are volunteering opportunities organised by external organisations who would like a helping hand. They have not necessarily been through the same procedures (health & safety etc.) as our other opportunities, and as such the University renounces responsibility for the task.

Code Club Programming Teacher

Code Club is a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. The projects teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. The clubs start with Scratch then move onto HTML & CSS and Python.

When: One hour a week, during school term (min. commitment 1 term)

Where: Various schools across the North-East.

County Durham Talking Newspaper

CDTN are looking for volunteers in a range of roles including fundraisers, a recording technician familiar with Adobe Audition, assistant editors with a background/interest in news, teaching, writing or similar and a part-time administrator for Mondays and/or Fridays (preferably living near Meadowfield).

Workers' Educational Association

The Workers’ Educational Association provides adult education in a huge array of subjects. The WEA Durham branch is currently looking for someone who would like to help manage their social media publicity. The team is small, friendly and industrious.

When: Flexible

Where: from home, optional meetings in Durham and Chester-le-Street

Contact: Alice McCreadie

Wynyard Planetarium

The Wynyard Planetarium is located in the Wynyard Park near to Thorpe Thewles, north of Stockton. The plantarium has an observatory located next to it with a range of telescopes used to show the night sky to the public after planetarium events. Volunteers are needed to help out during school information sessions. An interest/ experience in science outreach would be preferred, but basic training can be provided.

Seeing Ear

Offer a free online library for people who struggle with ordinary books, for reasons such as blindness or visual impairment, dyslexia, or a physical disability.Working from home, you will help add books to this online library which provides books in a flexible format to support readers who need books in an accessible format. This involves editing, styling and formatting MS Word files. All the training you need for this can be done at home via email.

Kielder Observatory

Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society (KOAS) carries out public outreach in the sciences of astronomy and cosmology, enabling people from all walks of life and levels of interest to access the visual splendour of our universe. Visitors have the opportunity to use a superb array of telescopes and instrumentation, and receive expert tuition in astronomy in our observatory in Kielder Forest which has the most light-pollution-free skies in England. KOAS relies on well-trained volunteers to deliver its program to the public. Some volunteers act as helpers to greet, serve refreshments and generally look after guests, others guide guests around the observatory talking to them about the telescopes and answering their questions. Others may wish to help visitors observe astronomical objects. There are also opportunities to give talks to the visitors themselves. Whatever your preference, KOAS provides training - a degree in astrophysics is not required!

To find out more visit the website contact the Observatory team.

Below are opportunities to volunteer at weekends and evenings outside of work time. Please note that TOIL cannot be claimed under the Staff Volunteering Scheme for any volunteering undertaken in your own time.

The Prince's Trust

The Prince’s Trust help young, disadvantaged people build the skills, experience and confidence to get into work across the UK. In the North East, they are recruiting for a number of volunteer roles, including Business Mentors, Progression Mentors and Enterprise Delivery Support. Please contact us for specific role descriptions including time commitments and locations.

SHAID Derwentside Cree Men's Group support

SHAID (Single Homeless Action Initiative in Derwentside) are looking for volunteers to support group sessions and outings for the men's group, which aims to promote positive mental health and reduced isolation in men of all ages. There is scope to be involved in a range of activities such as photography, guitar, cookery and archery.

When: regular weekly/monthly sessions

Where: Wear Road Community House, Stanley

Contact: Audrey Taylor Williams

The Woodcraft Folk

The Woodcraft Folk is an educational movement for young people, designed to help develop their self-confidence and activity in society, based on equality, friendship, peace and co-operation. Activities include arts and crafts, nature walks and cooperative games. Volunteers are sought to help run the group night on Thursdays and work in other areas – such as group administration, communications, and applying for funding.

When: Thursday evenings from 6.15pm-7.45pm

Where: Framwellgate Youth and Community Centre

Contact: Marita Grimwood

Durham City Scout Leaders

Durham City District Scouts runs eight scout groups and three Explorer Scout units in Framwellgate Moor, Belmont, Waterhouses, Neville’s Cross, Old Elvet, Brandon, Coxhoe and Gilesgate. They are always looking for new Scout Leaders, who are supported by a well-developed in house training scheme.

When: Generally one evening a week - night depends on section and location

Where: Durham City

Durham FoodCycle

FoodCycle Is a national charity which collects surplus vegetarian food and uses it create three course meals for homeless people, and those in social isolation or food poverty. Volunteers are sought at evening sessions to cook and to talk to guests. Sign up is simple and can be done by following this link FoodCycle are expanding to Chester-le-Street in early March and are holding an information session on Wednesday 18th February in the Salvation Army, Saddler Street, Durham, 7:30. For more information or to confirm attendance please contact

When: Wednesday evenings 5-8pm

Where: Durham City

Contact: David Oxlade

If you already volunteer with an organisation and would like to undertake further volunteering activity with them as part of the Staff Volunteering scheme, you can register your organisation and log your hours.

To get updates on more local volunteering opportunities such as these, you may wish to sign up to a volunteer organisation such as: Do-it (volunteer database), ivo (volunteering social network), Charity Job (voluntary and paid third sector jobs), County Durham Sport (sport volunteering).