This year Durham University Charities Kommittee (DUCK) are working in partnership with Children in Need on a campaign called ‘Pennies for Pudsey’. The idea is simple: students, staff members, businesses and schools across the county collect spare change and donate it to Children in Need. By collecting all of the money in on Wednesday 14th November, DUCK will be able to demonstrate just how big a difference a few loose pennies can make!
This will be the first time that Universities have worked directly with Children in Need, and the fundraising initiative is part of the wider ‘Pounds for Pudsey’, a scheme established this year by co-ordination between the National Student Fundraising Association (NaSFA) and the BBC. NaSFA itself is also a very new thing to student fundraising, having only been set up in September 2011, when Durham hosted the National RAG Conference. NaSFA was not only founded in Durham, but was last year led by Archie Dallas, DUCK Officer for 2011–12 and current DSU President, with Carmen O’Loughlin, our current DUCK Officer, NaSFA’s Charities and Partnerships Officer and Charlie Beardsmore, Communications Officer for DUCK, the NaSFA Secretary. So, as you can see, both NaSFA and ‘Pennies for Pudsey’ have very strong roots in Durham, and DUCK are hoping that this lineage can only mean good things for the campaign!
Already DUCK have distributed hundreds of cups up and down Durham in colleges, departments, offices, shops and schools in the hopes of collecting literally tonnes of pennies for the lovable Pudsey bear. Complex mathematical calculations have also told us that: If every student and staff member in Durham University saved just a penny a day between now and Wednesday 14th November, it would add up to a huge 567,300 pennies, or £5,673. Just a few more pennies, taking the total up to 579,150, would cover the Cathedral floor! A measly 32,200 pennies (£322), would stretch from Palace Green to Market Square and back again! And, finally, 100,000 pennies would weigh as much as the famous Austin 7 that devious Durham RAG members hung from Kingsgate Bridge in the 1960s.
Student fundraising histories and fascinating penny facts aside, DUCK are hoping that ‘Pennies for Pudsey’ will be an easy way for everyone in Durham and Stockton to get involved with fundraising. If you’re not feeling brave enough for Tough Guy, wealthy enough to bid in a charity auction or adventurous enough for an Expedition, ‘Pennies for Pudsey’ is your perfect place to start!
To tap even further into the old adage that ‘charity begins at home’, one of the important aspects about working on this campaign with Children in Need is that many local charities have already benefitted from the support that they provide. Pelaw View Community Centre, based in Durham, received a grant this August to help provide activities for children living in an area of high deprivation. Mid Durham Projects Club, who run a project involving young people with disabilities taking part in physical activities, skills and volunteering for 6–12 months, also benefitted. And Butterwick Hospice, in Stockton, received a grant to provide music therapy for children with life limiting conditions. In the last year, Children in Need has also given money to NEPACS, to provide activities for children visiting family members in Durham Prison, Hardwick in Partnership Ltd., encouraging young people in the Stockton area to raise their aspirations, and Tees Valley Counselling Trust.
When they’re all added up together, the pennies Durham students and staff manage to save this month could go towards similar projects and make a real difference in the local area.
Hopefully most Durham students will already be in reach of a Pudsey cup, but if not, just get in touch with Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into DUCK HQ in Dunelm House.
Katie Hall is the Community Engagement Officer for DUCK 2012/2013