Causes Spotlight: Durham University Charities Committee

If you are a Durham student, chances are you have heard of DUCK, the aptly named Durham University Charities Committee. Most people know of some of the work done by this committee, but they deserve more recognition for their dedication and inventive approach to helping local and national causes. 

Emily Kilner asks Rosie Trainor, current DUCK President, to discover more about this inspiring group of students. 

1. In a few words, what is DUCK?

DUCK is the Durham University Charities Committee, and is a fundraising organisation. We offer extraordinary opportunities to meet new people through our events, explore the world through our expeditions and test your endurance levels to the limit in our challenges. What makes this all so fantastic is that whilst doing this we raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities across the globe!

2. Tell us about some previous events or fundraisers and their success?

We put on a number of different fundraising events- whether that be inter-college dating through our famed ‘College Swaps’, which this year has raised over 2,000 pounds for Cool Earth and our Local Charities Fund; getting as far away from Durham as possible in 36 hours in the famous ‘Jailbreak’, which raised 4,000 pounds for Amnesty International; spending a night in the Cathedral, which raised 1500 pounds for DASH; running the London Marathon, which is set to raise over 20,000 pounds for Children with Cancer UK; or volunteering abroad in one of our expeditions- which raises a huge amount for charities across the world. We really do offer a huge variety of activities & take pride in how much we have been able to raise for incredible charities- last year fundraising over 300,000 pounds in total.

3. What has been the most memorable events?

Our iconic ‘DUCK Race’ really is a spectacle, which involves rubber ducks racing down the River Wear, with a top prize of 500 pounds to be won…it really isn’t one to miss!

4. What is coming up next/ how can people get involved?

Pink Week is a new addition to the DUCK calendar this year, which is a week dedicated to raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer Now. It’s from the 11th-17th of March and there are an array of fab events to get involved in! In the summer term, we’ve got ’Tough Mudder’ coming up, a notorious challenge that will send some hardcore Durham students up to Scotland to take on a 12 mile mud course, raising money for Action Against Hunger. We’ve also got the famous 3 Peaks Challenge for anyone hoping to tick off a bucket-list endurance challenge! Fancy jumping out of a plane instead? We’re also planning a charity skydive for all the thrill-seekers out there! If you’d rather stay firmly on the ground, our incredible events team is busy planning our DUCK Ball, due to take place in June! The best way to find out about how to get involved is to check out our Facebook page- DUCK Charities.

5. Why do you think charity work is so important at university level?

Charity work at university is a unique chance to give back, both to the local community and beyond. It offers you the chance to make a difference in the world through generating funds that are of vital importance to a number of charities, and develop yourself and your skills while doing so. In particular, the money that goes towards our Local Charities Fund makes a real difference to the local community and is an amazing way for us to engage and connect to where we live.

6. Are there any big themes that you have come across particularly in Durham that should be addressed more?

In future we would love to do more campaigning around homelessness in Durham, and what students can do to help tackle it.


Thank you to Rosie, and to DUCK for all of their work and continuous inspiration. 

If you want to get involved, visit the DUCK website: or their Facebook page:


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