Several charities in the North East have praised Durham University Students for facilitating vital work by continuing to volunteer throughout the November lockdown.
Before the pandemic, around 2,500 Durham University Students regularly volunteered, giving over 40,000 hours of their time to aid several projects in the North East, including those focusing on social inclusion and complex needs, education and sport, and conservation.
Working along government guidelines, that specifies charitable and voluntary work as viable reasons for leaving the house, around 500 students continued to volunteer throughout the month-long lockdown, both in person and online.
Key projects that students continued to assist in include Beyond Boundaries, and inclusive educational activity centre, and helping out at Riding for the Disabled by caring for the horses and maintaining the yard. A group of international students also helped out with Halloween activities for local families at Ushaw Historic House, Chapel and Gardens.
Speaking on behalf of the volunteer coordinators at Ushaw Historic House, Chapel and Gardens, Pam Lovell thanked the Durham University Student volunteers for enabling them to continue to welcome visitors to the heritage sight: “All our volunteers are an integral part of Ushaw life, their contribution to the organisation is immeasurable and we value their participation and commitment.”
Quentin Sloper, Director of Experience Durham at Durham University, also commented on the inspiring exhibition of determination and creativity by Durham Students during this time: “We’re very proud that, despite the challenges of Covid-19, many of our students have kept volunteering and making a real difference to local communities and good causes.”
Students are also organising and running donation campaigns for causes like County Durham Foodbank and Feeding Families. In the run up to Christmas there is also student-run gift donations and decoration making for those in need. In aid of our local environment, students have conducted fundraising activities and organised litter picks, and one environmental group is aiming to make the University more Hedgehog friendly.
This week, ahead of International Volunteering Day on 5th December, Durham University are encouraging its graduates to share how their volunteering stories from around the world online at: www.dunelm.org.uk/dunelmdays2020