How you can give back this Christmas


Advent calendars donated by Durham students for children in hospital.

Student Community Action, Durham’s largest student volunteering organisation, is going all-out this year to deliver Christmas cheer across the local community. Already, SCA Volunteering have had a huge success with their Advent Calendar project, with 40 calendars donated by students to the children of The Great North’s Children’s Hospital, giving them a great Christmas surprise.

In two further Christmas drives, SCA Volunteering hopes to reach as many disadvantaged people across Durham as possible, with ample opportunity for students to get involved:

Mission Christmas

With one in three children in the North-East living in poverty, Student Community Action are asking students to buy an extra present for a local disadvantaged child this Christmas. Run by the charity Cash for Kids, the appeal raised £15.5 million in gifts and donations and reached more than 360,000 disadvantaged children last year. Christmas is a luxury that many in Britain simply cannot afford. To help, bring new and unwrapped gifts for children ages 0-18 to room PC012 (Palatine Centre) by December 15th and give a child a special Christmas morning.

Make sure more children wake up to a present on Christmas morning.

Shoebox Appeal for the Homeless

SCA Volunteering are asking students to fill shoeboxes with gifts for the Homeless around Durham to spread some festive cheer. Homelessness is a crucial issue nationwide – government figures suggest that more than 4,000 people slept rough in England on any given night in 2016. As the homelessness charity, Crisis suggests, the average age of death for homeless people is just 47, and rough sleepers are 13 times more likely to be a victim of violence. SCA are looking to make a difference in this difficult Christmas period.

Whether you want to fill a shoebox with friends, or just donate a few items, every little counts. We are particularly hoping for toiletries, non-perishable food, torches, and clothes (e.g. socks, hats, gloves, scarves). To get involved, check out your SCA College Facebook page for details of where to collect your shoebox, and drop it off filled with gifts to your JCR by December 9th. You can also bring donations to the SCA office office (PC012, Palatine Centre).

Suggested donations that will go a long way this winter.

Get in the Christmas spirit while you’re still in Durham and make a real impact on the local community at the same time. What’s more, be sure to keep an eye on the SCA Facebook page for more volunteering opportunities, including SCA’s Christmas fundraising event ‘Jazz and Wine’ on December 13th. It is set to be a fantastic evening, with student performers and mulled wine.

Want to help the local community throughout the year? Check out the variety of projects offered by Student Community Action on Facebook or at

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