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Durham University Community Fund Shares Money Between Charities

Category: charity

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Thirteen charities have received a total of nearly £30,000 through a supported giving initiative.

The money represents the first pay outs from the Durham University Community Fund (DUCF), which was launched in October 2017, supported by County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF), to provide grants to charities and non-profit organisations that University staff and students already support through volunteering.

The good causes to benefit were chosen by a vote of participating University staff.

Each received £2,171.60, an equal share of the £28,230.84 total raised, and were invited to a celebration event hosted by the University at Durham Castle.

Supporting our people to do great things

Professor Stuart Corbridge, the Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am amazed and humbled by the dedication of our staff and students to a huge range of charities and good causes.

“It is our pleasure to support their efforts, by developing volunteering opportunities and allowing staff to volunteer for up to five days a year in work time.

“The Durham University Community Fund has allowed us to extend that support, as well as make a direct contribution. It was a pleasure to welcome some of the 13 charities to benefit to the University and to Durham Castle to hear more about the great work they do, day in, day out.

“My congratulations to them all. I hope the money the Fund has been able to distribute is useful, and I look forward to hearing more about their achievements in future.”

Supporting communities

Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with Durham University on their Community Fund. Local giving is so important as it supports the communities we study, work and live in to drive forward changes, to make a real difference.

“We look forward to working with the University going forward to see how we can build on this exciting community-focused Fund.”

How it works, and who will benefit

Giving from University staff, either made through payroll giving or raised through fundraising events, was complemented by contributions from the University and CDCF, which manages the Fund.

The causes that will benefit are:

Children and Young People category: 234 (City of Durham Squadron) Air Training CorpsCarers Trust Tyne and WearRainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

Health and Ageing: BloodwiseNorthumbria Blood BikesThe Loop.

Social: Durham FoodbankA Way Out CharitySHAIDVeterans at Ease

Animal Welfare: Ark on the EdgeNewcastle Cat and Dog ShelterStray Aid.

What do the charities say?

SHAID will use the money to refurbish supported accommodation for former armed services personnel in Sacriston. Project manager Tony Hammond said: “We are over the moon. We have always had a good relationship with the University and this cements that.”

John Robinson, trustee of A Way Out Charity, said: “We greatly appreciate every bit of support that we get.”

Garreth Murrell, Chief Executive of Veterans at Ease, said: “This money will help save lives. It will pay for therapy we provide for veterans and have a big impact.”

Stray Aid will put the money towards upgrading the heating system at its kennels in Coxhoe. Chief Executive John Bielby said: “Durham University staff and students have been very active with the charity, walking our dogs for a number of years now. We were very pleased to be chosen to benefit from the Fund.”

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