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Students’ good deed for the community

Durham students Paul Gape and Sarah Bowey with local elderly residents left to right; Joyce Fairley, Catherine and John Gowling and Ken Walls. Durham Student Community Action organised a Community Tea Party as part of student volunteering week.

Durham students Paul Gape and Sarah Bowey with local elderly residents left to right; Joyce Fairley, Catherine and John Gowling and Ken Walls. Durham Student Community Action organised a Community Tea Party as part of student volunteering week.

STUDENTS served up a host of good deeds by getting to know their community better.

Tea parties have been hosted by Student Community Action (SCA), the volunteering branch of Durham University, dishing up cakes and filling up the cups of elderly residents from across the city.

In addition to tea and treats at St Oswald Church Hall, some of the parties have also featured music by a folk band, quizzes and games of bingo.

The events have been part of a week of volunteering activities, which have also included working in schools, dog walking and work to help improve Old Durham Gardens.

Rebecca Byrne, a member of SCA’s staff, said: “It gives our volunteers a chance to find out a bit more about Durham, because a lot of those at the parties have lived in Durham all their lives and they have lots of stories.

“It also gives them the chance to enjoy some tea and cake, and sometimes they find it hard to get out and about, so this brings them together so they can meet other people and have a chat.”

The SCA has more than 700 members and is the university’s largest volunteering organisation.

It is running 35-plus projects in the city, as well as its Stockton campus, including gardening and working with vulnerable adults, with its members also sitting on Durham County Council’s Area Action Partnership in Durham, which helps decide the priorities for the city.

It is funded by the university, but also holds events to raise its own cash, including a comedy night being held for students this weekend.

The week of activities tied in with a national effort by students at universities to help benefit the towns and cities where they are studying.

 

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