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

Dog Walking

Our dog walking project matches up pairs of volunteers to local dog owners who would like their dogs walking for them (perhaps they have become ill or disabled, and are unable to walk their dog as much as they wish).

When?
Volunteers are matched up to walk dogs at a time that is convenient for them. You will walk the same dog in a pair with another volunteer at the same time each week, for around an hour each time.

Flexible Commitment?
No - you are expected to walk the dog you are matched with every week during term time.

Where?
Somewhere locally around Durham.

Transport/Directions
Most volunteers travel on foot to pick up their allocated dog, some may be required to take a short bus ride. (Any bus journeys will be reimbursed by DU Student Volunteering and Outreach).

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 have the opportunity to support physically and mentally disabled adults through conservation work on Fowl Green Farm.

When?
Fortnightly, Wednesday afternoons 2-6pm.

Flexible Commitment?
Yes

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.

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?
No.

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

 

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.