Charities get a boost from American students

Students from Duke University in America visiting Durham.
Students from Duke University in America visiting Durham.

Two charities have been given a helping hand from American students.

Changing Lives and the Waddington Street Centre welcomed student volunteers from Duke University, who were visiting the UK as part of Durham University’s partnership with the North Carolina university, DukeEngage.

It was a pleasure having Duke students to Durham ad we look forward to welcoming more in summer 2019

Owen Adams

Each year for the past six years, Duke students have visited Durham and this year six students spent four weeks in North East.

Harry Han and Sean Cho were based with national charity Changing Lives, which supports 17,500 vulnerable people to build a better future, at one of their projects in Chester-le-Street.

Linda McKie, project lead for the charity, said: “Changing Lives were delighted to have assistance from two American students in support of our work with people experiencing homelessness in our area.

“Harry and Sean attended our outreach session with people sleeping rough, making contact with vulnerable individuals and signposting them to support that could help them off the street.

“It is wonderful when young people want to get involved in charity work and help others, and we hope Harry and Sean have learnt from the experience and enjoyed it.”

Alex Heap spent time at the Waddington Street Centre, an independent mental health resource centre in Durham City.

Alex said: “Most Americans think of the British as posh, proper and somewhat uptight people. This is not true of Northern England. The people of Durham are straight-talking, strong-willed, and very warm-hearted.”

Duke students also joined Durham County Council’s International Office and Durham University’s outreach department.

Neil Hoefs, Coordinator of DukeEngage Durham 2018, which organised the visit, said: “Part of DukeEngage’s mission is to empower students to address critical human needs. This summer, our Duke students had the opportunity to partner with organisations that are truly making a difference in Durham, North Carolina, and our sister city of Durham, UK.”

The students also visited Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, Beamish Museum, Killhope Lead Mining Museum, Raby Castle and attended the Durham Miners’ Gala.

Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) at Durham University, said: “Our support for the DukeEngage programme shows how Durham being a global university with a world-class reputation has real benefits locally.

“It was a pleasure having Duke students to Durham and we look forward to welcoming more in summer 2019.”