Social Inclusion Projects

Social Inclusion Projects

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

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and our weekly email for notifications of these opportunities.

If you have any ideas for new social inclusion volunteering opportunities or projects, please email inclusive.outreach@durham.ac.uk

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 at catss.primary@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 catss.secondary@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 Chloe and Rohini at dogwalking.dusvo@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 Kylie at durham.minds@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 Antony and Dorothy at computeas.dusvo@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 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, 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?
Yes.

To get involved please email Alice, Cat and Wendy at generations.dusvo@durham.ac.uk

Youth Club

This project was 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 and youthclub.dusvo@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 Bea at dash.dusvo@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 Anna at teaparties.dusvo@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 Emma at otter.club@durham.ac.uk

Once A Month

Originally founded at the University of Manchester, Once A Month is a project aiming to reduce period poverty. Due to its success, the Manchester team wanted to set up 'sister-projects' across the nation in different universities. So, this year, we are excited to bring this project to Durham!

Along with a group of wonderful volunteers, we will collect and distribute donated sanitary and hygiene products to local charities and homeless shelters in the local area.

We will be holding monthly meetings as a team where the donations will be collected and the future of the project will be discussed, including the organising of events and ways to raise awareness about period poverty.

When?
One Saturday every month (from 16:00 onwards).

Flexible?
Absolutely! Join us whenever suits you.

Where?
Room 101 in the Teaching and Learning Centre.

DBS Required?
No.

To get involved, please email Lydia or Lucie at onceamonth.dusvo@durham.ac.uk or message us on Instagram: @du_oam

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 on this project please contact Jessica at beyondboundaries.dusvo@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 Imogen and Jenny at rda.dusvo@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 Chloe and Katie at cakesforkids.dusvo@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 Rebecca at englishcorner.dusvo@durham.ac.uk

Durham for Refugees Kids Club
The DfR Kids Club provides fun, educational and helpful childcare activities for the children of local refugees who attend community drop-in sessions run by City of Sanctuary in Durham. The drop-in sessions aim to ensure the integration of refugee groups around Durham, and the help of student volunteers at the Kids Club is greatly appreciated by both the parents and children who attend. The children are aged from 1 to 11, with typically 5 to 20 children at each session. The sessions involve different activities, from doing arts and crafts to 1 to 1 tutoring which provides free, additional educational support. Each session gives the children an opportunity to practice skills they have learned in school, meet other children in their area and enjoy having fun with our volunteers! When? The sessions take place 3 Saturdays per month, from 11-2pm, and volunteering hours are organized in 2 or 3 hour shifts. Flexible? Yes! You can volunteer with us as much or as little as you would like! Where? The Methodist Church on North Road (within walking distance from all colleges, located near the Viaduct!) DBS required? Yes, please feel free to contact the project leader Alice at dfr.kidsclub@durham.ac.uk to organise getting a DBS.
Hospice Outreach

The Durham Hospice Outreach Project was created as an initiative to enable students to provide support to local hospices and comfort to patients with life-limiting illnesses. It is for those of you who are passionate about making new friends, organising community events, and making a difference in someone else’s life. If you have the heart to help, a desire to do good and a few hours to spare, we would love to welcome you onboard.

The hospices require as much support as you are able to give: whether that is seeing residents, working in the local charity shop or gardens or helping formulate their website for them. As a new initiative we would love to collaborate with volunteers to create a sustainable and helpful volunteering service and help use your skills to give back to the wonderful community around us in Durham. If you can visit residents, help in the shop or help to man the reception desk at either hospice for a few hours every week/every other week you will be helping to give back in a wonderful way!

When?
Weekly/Every other week

Flexible?
Yes! There are many different roles to get involved in!

Where?
St Cuthburts Hospice, Willowburn Hospice

Travel/Directions
St Cuthburts can be reached by foot and Willowburn by bus!
Any travel can be reimbursed

We would love to hear from you so if you are looking to volunteer or have any queries please contact Emily and Elyssa at hospice.dusvo@durham.ac.uk, or check out our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DurhamUniHospiceOutreach

Teesdale Lunch Clubs