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Durham University

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.

Current Trustee Vacancies

DASH (Durham Action on Single Housing) and Old Durham Gardens both have vacancies for trustees. Trustees use their skills and knowledge to help guide the direction of the charity and make a lasting difference. If interested please email Trevor Atkinson (DASH) via and Chris Lee (Old Durham Gardens) at

Palace Green Library

Due to the high visitor numbers, the library is looking for staff to volunteer and invigilate at their exhibitions, specifically the new exhibitions entitled Between Worlds: Folklore and Fairy Tales from Northern Britain and Hell, Heaven and Hope: a journey through life and the afterlife with Dante. Tasks will include visitor engagement, questionnaires, and observations for data gathering as well as invigilating. Volunteers are needed Monday - Sunday 10:00 - 17:00 but half day slots are available. If interested, please contact

When: Ongoing

Where: Palace Green Library


FACT is looking for volunteers to help at one of their Sunderland shops every Wednesday or every other Wednesday. They will have two shops for around 4/5 months and need support to run both stores. If interested, please email Marshall Lawson via

When: Ongoing

Where: Sunderland

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

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

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.

Great Exhibition of the North

The Great Exhibition of the North is running from the 18th June to the 9th September. The exhibition is looking for volunteers to help out in numerous roles. For more information and to apply:

The Key

The Key is looking for volunteers in two roles: community panel members and project supporters. Both require a 1.5 hour training session which will either be held in Belmont or at The Key’s office in Team Valley; if enough staff are interested, the training could be held at the University. For more information about The Key and the roles, please email

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.

Parkinson's UK

Parkinson’s are organising two flash mobs to raise awareness for World Parkinson’s Day. A Stockton flash mob will be held on Saturday 7th April and Newcastle’s is on Saturday 14th April. If interested, please email Linny via

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

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 by contacting the SVO team and log your hours.