Volunteering Panel - Highlights

Last week at the Volunteering Panel, we had representatives from different volunteering projects. Here are some of the key highlights!

Flávia Ganzer from DUCK
Last year DUCK organized some really awesome fundraising events like Disco Duck Club Nights, the Cathedral Sleepout, the DUCK Race and the Big Band Ball. DUCK has its own charity fund called the ‘Local Charities Fund’ (LCF) which donates to the local community around Durham. Excitingly, this year all the money we make for the LCF will be doubled by the government. Our big challenge events this year include Formally Lost, a Skydive and the well-known Jailbreak which will be happening after exams this year. Formally Lost is happening on the 10th of December and we will be raising money for the charity Cool Earth, which fits into the Effective Altruism ideal that we are pursuing this year.

Key Takeaway from Volunteering – friendship! It is a great opportunity for you to make friends outside colleges

Most Interesting Experience – Cathedral Sleep Out last year! We had the Northern Lights and Durham Dance Society to come along. And we put some films on! It was nice to see people participated in the event having their own little moments in the cathedral. 

Dana Palii – Hatfield Nepal Project
Hatfield Nepal Project is a volunteer project for Hatfielders and it takes place across each year’s August and September. HNP is working with a charity school in Nepal called Hindu Vidyapeeth. Normally 8 Hatfield volunteers participated in the project every year.

Key Takeaway from Volunteering – Dana’s passion for rice was revealed during the her time in Nepal! 

Jess Black – Durham for Refugees
We're a group of students at Durham University who want to do what we can to help those affected by the global refugee crisis. We go to places wherever they need volunteers the most to help the refugees. Apart from trip to Calais and Greece, we also do some day-to-day volunteering project to help the Syrian Refugees to settle down in Durham. For example, we have classes that focus on English conversation in Gilesgate and the North Road. And we are thinking to put on a youth workshop that focuses on sports activities this coming year.

Key Takeaway from Volunteering – friendship! You get a wider circle from volunteering and non-university friends like volunteers and the Syrian that settled down around Durham.

Most Interesting Experience – it was very unexpected to see how many people from all over the world have come to refugee camps to help people and I get to meet people from all over the places. In the refugee camp, they group together and help each other even though the living condition are very bad. It is very nice to see them staying positive!

Chloe Dancey – SCA (Student Community Action)
Student Community Action is the University’s student led volunteering organisation. It has over 50 projects to get involved in, split into educational initiatives (e.g. tutoring and schemes within local schools), recreational initiatives (e.g. working with children, hosting parties, and taking vulnerable children on weekend breaks) and community initiatives (e.g. elderly tea parties, dog walking, baking cakes, helping the homeless and working with the mentally ill). With all these projects there’s something for everyone. SCA even do one-off events, such as conservation work, for the more time-restricted student. By volunteering through SCA, there is a huge support network and they give free DBS checks, where applicable. SCA also log your volunteer hours, which can be an excellent reference for future employers.

SCA focuses on helping everyone and giving back to the wider Durham community that we are now a part of. This is seen in College, when SCA ran a shoebox appeal for the homeless. Mission Christmas is another scheme centred around the North East. It involves buying an extra present, which will go to a disadvantaged local child, to make their Christmas morning special.

Follow Hatfield SCA and SCA Durham Facebook pages to find out more about these appeals or talk to me, your SCA Ambassador for Hatfield for more details of broader volunteering projects to get involved in.

Key Takeaway – You don’t have to do something spectacular to make a real difference to someone else’s life. One-off appeals and events are excellent examples of how one small thing can make a real difference.

SCA ran a shoebox appeal for the homeless; here is a picture of one of the shoeboxes.

SCA ran a shoebox appeal for the homeless; here is a picture of one of the shoeboxes.