Environment Projects

Environment Projects

We regularly offer opportunities to get involved with environment-focussed volunteering activities in and around Durham. Student volunteers often work with partners including: Wharton Park, Botanic Gardens, Old Durham Gardens, the Auckland Project, Durham City Council, Durham Wildlife Trust, and more.

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

If you have any ideas for new environmental volunteering opportunities or projects, please email environment.dusvo@durham.ac.uk

Our Projects

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.

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

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

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

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?

To get involved email Chloe at beyondfood.dusvo@durham.ac.uk

Feeding Families
This project was newly established in 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 Wai Ling at feeding.families@durham.ac.uk
Gardening Project

This project is new for 2020/21

Gardening is a new DUSVO volunteering project. We will bring the volunteers to the community gardens in Durham and work with locals to make our city greener and prettier! Having a green and nice environment is very important to everyone, especially the ones who live in this city. By attending this project, you can help make Durham a better place to live and build strong bonds with other volunteers and the community. Gardening is also a very good way to de-stress.

The sessions will take place in local gardens such as Wharton Park, Old Durham Gardens and more, which are all in walking distance or accessible by bus. All equipment will be provided by the community gardens and no prior experience needed! The project will happen weekly/fortnightly.

To get involved email Megan at gardening.dusvo@durham.ac.uk

Hedgehog Friendly Durham

This project is new for 2020/21

Being hedgehog-friendly is more important than ever now that they are vulnerable to extinction here in Britain.

The Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign aims to turn university campuses into hedgehog homes, highways and habitats. Universities typically have a large footprint in urban areas with abundant green spaces – a potential island idyll in the city for our prickly friends.

Help save our prickly friends you can learn more about our local hedgehog population, find out how to make hedgehog tracking boxes, keep our urban area green and plentiful for hedgehogs, save the hedgehogs, protect their environment, make Durham a better place to live for humans and prickles alike.

As part of the Durham University Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign, we are aiming to achieve bronze accreditation through a number of events and activities to make the University more hedgehog-aware through litter picking, fundraising, awareness raising.

To get involved email Nikki at hedgehogfriendly.dusvo@durham.ac.uk

Project Soup
This project was newly established in 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
School Environment Club
This project is new for 2020/21 The School Environment Club project teaches students at primary schools around Durham about the importance of sustainability and protecting the environment through fun, interactive, hands-on activities both indoors and outdoors. This term we plan on covering the following topics in our sessions: 1) reduce/reuse/recycle 2) energy and resources 3) sharing the planet – ecosystems 4) sharing the planet – climate justice Our aim is for children to learn creatively about environmentalism and adopt sustainable practices in their everyday lives, decrease their carbon footprint at school and at home and make an impact in their community from a young age. Hopefully they will be inspired to go on to raise awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability themselves! When? Around four times a term. Flexible? Yes! Sign up for as few/as many sessions as you would like. Where? Local Durham schools within easy reach of the DU science site. Transport? Walking or public transport depending on personal requirements/preference. Bus tickets will be reimbursed by DUSVO. DBS required? Yes, as we work with children all volunteers must complete the safeguarding module on DUO and complete a DBS check. To get involved email Anne at environmentclub.dusvo@durham.ac.uk