Community Projects

Community Projects

With SCA, you can get involved in a number of student-led projects with adults. They’re a great way to interact with other generations and people from different backgrounds: they can offer lasting friendships and valuable life experience.

Adults in the Community

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!

Where? The Law School (PCL050)

When? Wednesdays, 6.30-7.30pm

To get involved please email

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 options for students from both campuses and will include regular socials for all volunteers, so we can share our experiences in a relaxed setting.

Where? At our partner community centres, R T Project and St Margaret’s Centre

When? Decided on an individual basis according to your availability

To get involved please email


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.

Where? Durham Clayport Library

When? Wednesdays 2-3.30pm

To get involved please email

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.

Where? Durham City Centre

When? Mutually convenient times

To get involved please email

Prison Volunteering

There are two main programmes on offer;

  • Supporting Education (Currently full)

All the details and how to apply are below.

Please remember that for the Supporting Education (currently full) and NEPACS programme you will have to go through prison vetting. Before you apply please check you have or are able to get all the documents needed by looking at this list here.


NEPACS is a local charity that SCA link with. They work with the visitors of prisoners and their families. As they are a separate charity they have a separate application form. All the details of the volunteering opportunities and the application deadline can be found in the documents below. If you have any questions email Katie at

DU Volunteer Recruitment Process

DU 2017 Volunteer Application Form

DU Play Area Volunteer

DU Tea Bar Volunteer

DU Visitor Centre Volunteer


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:

Where? Dragonville Ind Pk/Dragon Lane, Durham, DH1 2XW

When? Flexible

To get involved please email

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.

To get involved please email

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.

To get involved please email

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!

Otters Swim Club has now reached maximum capacity for the number of volunteers it can take. Please email Iona if you would like to be added to a waiting list.

When: Mondays 6:50pm-8:00pm

Where: Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre, weekly or every other week attendance required

To get involved please email

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.

To get involved please email

Animal Projects

Dog Walking

There are two different opportunities for dog walking within the project:

Residential Dog Walking –

This project coordinates dog-walkers for residents who may not be able to walk their dogs regularly, whether this is due to illness, operations, from being housebound or working full-time. Most walkers walk once a week. Volunteers can state their preference of type/size of dog. If you miss your pet or just want to get some fresh air in our beautiful surroundings, this flexible project is perfect for you!

SAD Kennels Walking –

This project involves volunteering at the Deerness stray action kennels near Durham, walking dogs who are waiting to be rehomed. Walkers can sign up to one of our 4 weekly morning slots, with SCA transport provided. These slots are currently Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00-11:30 am.


Where? Around Durham or at Deerness Kennels (Langley Moor)

When? Arranged with dog owner or during the weekly SAD slots.

There will also be the opportunity to be involved with a charity dog show in December.

To get involved please email

Children in the Community

Free Cakes for Kids

Free Cakes for Kids is a community service for families who find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for their child, due to a lack of funds or time. All the cakes are baked by volunteers and decorated in line with the child’s favourite theme or style. So if you’re a keen baker and just can’t eat anymore, please get in touch!

When? Mutually convenient times

To get involved please email