Social Inclusion & Complex Needs Projects

Social Inclusion & Complex Needs Projects

These projects work with a diverse group of service users with complex needs, to combat issues surrounding social isolation in our local community.

Our Projects

CATSS Primary
Children Achieving Through Student Support is an extremely worthwhile, challenging, yet rewarding, flagship project. CATSS provides a time of respite for 23 local children, aged 7-11, from hard to reach backgrounds. Through fortnightly training, you’ll provide the awesome experiences these children deserve, helping them to develop social skills and give them the time, space and fun every child needs! As well as gaining a range of certified training, as a volunteer, you’ll get the chance to lead a range of exciting activities. On our action packed three daytrips and weeklong residential, there will be activities such as wheelchair basketball, crafts, a trip to the farm and a day at the beach just to name a few! You will be part of one great team of dedicated students, who become great friends, aiming to give these children an amazing week! CATSS is a life-changing project for all involved, children and volunteers alike. When? 2 day trips and weekly training in Epiphany term. A residential week in Easter and final day trip after exams. Flexible? No Where? Around the Durham area. Travel/Directions Transport for the day and residential trip will be provided by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach. DBS Required? Yes If you’re interested please contact catss.sca@durham.ac.uk.
CATSS Secondary
Established in 2014, Children Achieving Through Student Support Secondary aims to build on the successes of one of DU Student Volunteering and Outreach’s flagship projects, CATSS Primary. CATSS Secondary works with a group of young people aged 11-13 years who are from hard to reach backgrounds. CATSS volunteers give young people the chance to challenge themselves/ try new things, such as rock climbing or swimming and the project is packed full of activities, laughter and fun! We want to provide a team of positive adult role models and are looking for hard working, enthusiastic and willing volunteers. There is no specific need for prior experience and full training is provided. The project will run over two fun-filled day trips and an action packed week away in the local Durham area over Easter; aiming to provide a safe and encouraging environment for young people to develop their confidence as well as offering an opportunity for respite. When? 2 day trips and weekly training in Epiphany term. A residential week in Easter and final day trip after exams. Flexible? No Where? Around the Durham area. Travel/Directions Transport for the day and residential trip will be provided by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach. DBS Required? Yes. If you are interested, please contact catsssecondary.sca@durham.ac.uk.
Dog Walking (Kennels)

When?
Deerness kennels are open to volunteers on weekday mornings (excluding Tuesday) from 9:30-11am. Stray Aid runs every day from 10am until 3/4pm.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes! Kennel walking is suitable for frequent volunteers, as well as for those who cannot walk every week. A poll opens weekly for volunteers to sign up for the week ahead.

Where?
Deerness Kennels, Langley Moor, or Stray Aid, Coxhoe.

Transport/Directions
Buses run from the bus station for both kennels, as well as from the Palatine centre for Stray Aid. Fares will be reimbursed.

DBS Required?
No.

If you would like to volunteer with this project, please email dogwalking.sca@durham.ac.uk

Durham Minds

We believe that communities should provide inclusive support to individuals struggling with their mental health, and our project achieves this through practical, fun activities and transformative listening-based projects. Through our partnership organisations, you will be able to volunteer your time, friendship and skills to make a positive difference in these people’s lives.

1 in 4 people suffer from mental ill health at some point in their life, yet there is still a strong social stigma surrounding these illnesses. This project challenges and develops public perceptions, and allows you to interact with real people’s stories. We channel this understanding into awareness campaigns, which interact with the university and colleges by running informative fundraising nights.

The Durham Minds project offers many volunteering opportunities and will include regular socials for all volunteers, so we can share our experiences in a relaxed setting.

When?
Set times when we visit our community partners, the R T Project, St Margaret's Centre and Waddington Street Centre, exact times will be confirmed soon!

Flexible Commitment?
Some activities are flexible and some are less flexible, get in contact to find out more!

Where? At our partners' community centres, R T Project, St Margaret’s Centre and Waddington Street Centre. Other opportunities may be available to get involved with around Durham.

Transport/Directions?
Your project leader will advise you which bus to get to the community partners, and DU Student Volunteering and Outreach will reimburse the costs for you! Some venues may be in walking distance.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email mentalhealth.sca@durham.ac.uk

Computeas

We help older people in Durham to learn basic computer and internet skills in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The content of each session varies, as does the skill-level and experience of participants. However, volunteers only need the basic IT skills that all of us students take for granted. Step-by-step explanatory sheets are provided to help with teaching people how to do things such as send e-mails or shop online. There is no fixed programme; volunteers and participants can decide to work together on whatever they wish. Sessions also include plenty of chatting and free biscuits, enabling relationships to be built across the generations.

When?
Wednesdays 2-3.30pm, every two weeks.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes, come along and volunteer when you can!

Where?
Durham Clayport Library.

Transport/directions
The library is in the city centre, opposite the Gala Theatre and Cinema. You can walk or get a bus there easily! DU Student Volunteering and Outreach will reimburse any necessary travel costs.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email computeas.sca@durham.ac.uk

Generations Together

The aim of Generations Together is to alleviate the loneliness and isolation elderly people in our community sometimes feel. Two or three volunteers are paired up with one elderly resident to visit their home on a weekly or fortnightly basis, to offer friendly conversation and companionship. On occasions, volunteers might help with small tasks, such as doing some gardening or cleaning. If you are not able to do this on a regular basis, there are other ways to get involved, as every term different social events are organised, such as tea parties or trips to the theatre.

When?
At a time that suits both you and the person you are visiting!

Flexible?
Our home visits are weekly or fortnightly, but if you can't commit to this we have more flexible opportunities too!

Where?
Around Durham City Centre.

Transport/Directions
Volunteers visit local people by foot or bus, bus costs can be reimbursed by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach!

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email generations.sca@durham.ac.uk

Youth Club

This project is being newly established in 2019/20.

The project aims to send volunteers into a local youth centre to support youth club activities with local children. Volunteers will support existing activities and also organise their own activities at the centre.

Further information will be added soon. In the meantime, please email community.action@durham.ac.uk with any queries.

DASH

DASH (Durham Action on Single Housing) is a local charity that provides accommodation with support to people who are homeless or are about to become homeless, in particular, vulnerable women. Volunteers help with practical sessions such as cooking or make-up lessons. The charity also wants to provide residents with the opportunity to visit places in the region as a social, recreational and learning experience. This will include visits to museums, galleries, the theatre, country parks and local events and activities which you can help raise money for. See the website for more information:https://www.dashorg.co.uk/

When?
Volunteer with DASH whenever you can, at a time that suits you.

Flexible?
Yes!

Where?
DASH premises in Gilesgate.

Travel/Directions
You can walk up to the office or there are many buses which go up into Gilesgate very close to DASH's office. Bus costs can be reimbursed by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email dash.sca@durham.ac.uk.

Beyond Food

The Beyond Food project works with Trussell Trust’s Durham food bank to provide food parcels for disadvantaged families in the east of Durham. The food collection boxes are placed in colleges and the project leaders arrange for pickup and collection by the Trussell Trust’s Durham Foodbank.

When?
There are usually opportunities to food bank sorting every week. Other activities are also regularly available.

Flexible?
Yes. You can attend foodbank sessions (usually 1-4hours) when you can, or join in with other campaigns etc.

Where?
The foodbank we work with is in Chester-le-Street, but there may be opportunities to volunteer around Durham too.

Transport/Directions
Chester-le-Street is easily reached by train in about 10 minutes. Any transport costs can be reimbursed by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email beyondfood.sca@durham.ac.uk

Tea Parties

You are warmly invited for a cuppa, cake and a chat with some of Durham’s residents aged over 55. Tea parties are hosted twice to three times a term in St. Oswalds Church Hall (near the Science Site). During each session we include entertainment alongside food; favourites have included bingo and a visit from Swing Dance Society, although a good natter is often just as nice.

When? 
Two to three times a term. Tea Parties will last a few hours.

Flexible?
Yes, help organise and attend tea parties when you can!

Where?
St Oswald's Church Hall.

Travel/Directions
The venue is easy to reach by foot, it is near the science site!

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email teaparties.sca@durham.ac.uk

Otters Swim Club

At Otters we volunteer with an external swim club working with both adults and children with various mobility and learning difficulties. The work we do fun as well as rewarding, as we play a range of games during each session. If you feel like coming down for a splash please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

When?
Mondays 6pm-7pm.

Flexible?
Weekly or every other week attendance is required.

Where?
Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre.

Travel/Directions
The leisure centre is easily accessible by foot, it is near the Gala Theatre and Cinema. If any bus travel is required for you to access the venue, DU Student Volunteering and Outreach can reimburse this cost.

DBS Required?
Yes.

To get involved please email otter.club@durham.ac.uk

Alington House

We work with visually impaired individuals to provide entertainment and companionship, helping to run sessions for up to 20 adults ranging from ages 20-92! Sessions are run on a Monday (11am-1pm) and whilst the majority of activities such as baking or karaoke are held at Alington House, we have taken part in trips to places such as a recording studio.

When?
Mondays from 11am-1pm.

Flexible?
(Information to be updated shortly)

Where?
Alington House on the Bailey, near the Cathedral.

Travel/Directions
Alington House is easily accessible by foot, but if you require any transport to access the venue, DU Student Volunteering and Outreach can reimburse this.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email alingtonhouse.sca@durham.ac.uk

Beyond Boundaries

Volunteers travel to Fowl Green Farm to spend an afternoon socialising and partaking in activities with teens and adults with mental disabilities and/or learning difficulties. Activities include looking after the various animals at the farm (sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, donkeys, and even llamas!), countryside walks, farm maintenance and arts and crafts.

In this friendly and supportive environment, our volunteers help service users develop confidence, practical skills and form friendships.

When?
Fortnightly - Wednesday afternoons 11:00am-3:30pm (this includes travel on both ends, our sessions usually last 2.5 hours).

Flexible Commitment?
Our service users love to see familiar faces, and it's extremely rewarding to gain their trust and respect through forming meaningful relationships.

However, there is absolutely no requirement for fortnightly commitment - we are always excited to have new volunteers even if you are only able to commit on a one-off.

Where?
Fowl Green Farm, North Yorkshire

Transport/Directions
Transport provided - you will be driven to the farm by your Project Leaders, or by a member of DU Student Volunteering and Outreach staff.

DBS needed?
No.

If you would like to volunteer with this project, please email beyondboundaries.sca@durham.ac.uk

Riding for the Disabled

The project sends volunteers to a nearby stables on weekends to help with the Riding for the Disabled lessons. In addition to leading and helping with lessons, volunteers also take part in general yard work to help at the stables.

When?
Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes, you don't necessarily have to attend every week.

Where?
Washington Stables.

Transport/Directions
Transport will be provided for you, you will be driven to the stables in the DU Student Volunteering and Outreach car.

DBS Required?
Yes.

If you would like to volunteer with this project, please email rda.sca@durham.ac.uk

GOALs Social Club

The GOALs project provides a social club for adults with learning difficulties. The club provides a relaxed space for both volunteers and service users to chat and play games.

When?
Every Tuesday, 7-9pm.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes, although it is nice for service users if volunteers can attend every week.

Where?
Local venues around Durham, on University premises and in the local community.

Transport/Directions
Volunteers usually reach local project venues on foot (e.g. the Library bar in the centre of Durham).

DBS Required?
No

If you would like to volunteer with this project, please email goals.sca@durham.ac.uk

 

Free Cakes for Kids

Free Cakes for Kids is a project which works with local charity the Rainbow Trust, to provide cakes for families who cannot usually find the time or resources to provide a birthday cake for their children. Volunteers bake the cakes for the Trust when requests come in for cakes.

When?
Various times - whenever a cake is requested and volunteers are available to make one.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes, you can volunteer to bake a cake with other volunteers when you can.

Where?
Volunteers bake from their own homes.

Transport/Directions
None required.

DBS Required?
No, as you do not work directly with children.

If you would like to volunteer with this project, please email cakesforkids.sca@durham.ac.uk

Project Soup

This project is new for 2019/20.

Project SOUP is a global initiative that focuses on running ‘micro-funded dinners’ using surplus food. We invite both Durham students and local residents to one of our dinners for a meal of soup and bread for a small donation. After dinner, we invite several local initiatives to present and answer questions regarding their projects. Attendees of the dinner then have time to cast a single confidential vote based on the project they would like to receive the funds. The winner will be awarded a grand prize, depending on the proceeds from the evening, and the remaining money is split between all other groups. Afterwards live entertainment from the local and student community will round off the evening.

We are looking for volunteers to help with the general running of these events including set up, cooking and manning of the doors etc to help create a social and inviting atmosphere for the evening. We aim to break down the barriers between the local and student community whilst driving forward change with something as simple as a bowl of soup!

When?
We host one soup event per academic term where volunteers will be needed. This will be either late afternoon or evening. There will be other volunteering opportunities involving fundraising.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes- you can help out with as many soup events as you please!

Where?
A venue in Durham, this may change for each event depending on numbers/pricing.

Transport/Directions
The venue will always be accessible by foot or bus. Bus costs can be reimbursed by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved email project.soup@durham.ac.uk

Feeding Families

This project is new for 2019/20.

Feeding Families is a charity that works with disadvantaged families in the North East, providing them with Christmas food hampers in order to alleviate hunger and help relieve some of the added pressures of the festive season. The aim of this project is to work with the charity and help build its presence in and around Durham by helping to run fundraising events, establish collection points for food donations, and forge links with the local community. All this will culminate at a packing day in December, when volunteers will help put together the hampers that will be sent to local families.

When?
As Feeding Families is aimed at helping families out over the festive season, all our events will take place in the first academic term. Fundraising event(s) will happen throughout the term, and the packing day will take place on 13th December.

Flexible?
Yes – you can help out as much or as little as you like, although we would like as many volunteers as possible to come to the packing day in December!

Where?
Locations are yet to be confirmed, although they will be somewhere in Durham.

Transport/Directions
The venue will always be accessible by foot or bus. Bus costs can be reimbursed by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved email beyondfood.sca@durham.ac.uk

English Corner

We offer a place for international students to meet up with fluent English-speaking volunteers to make friends, have fun, and learn about one another’s cultures whilst improving their confidence in English communication. Meeting weekly, volunteers take part in discussions and language games. The project is a great opportunity for both language and international students to practice their language skills, as well as other students wanting to brush up on speaking and listening in a foreign language. There will be plenty of fun activities planned, such as film nights and themed socials, so come along, whether you want to help or to learn!

When?
Wednesdays, 6.30-7.30pm.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes.

Where?
The Law School (PCL050).

Transport/Directions
The Law School is easily accessible by foot. If you require other transport for accessibility reasons, DU Student Volunteering and Outreach can reimburse this.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved please email englishcorner.sca@durham.ac.uk

Durham for Refugees Kids Club

Weekly youth club for refugee children and local children to play, make friends and integrate into their new local community.

For more information and to volunteer, email: dfrkidsclub.sca@durham.ac.uk