By Miriam Brittenden
On Monday 12th October, Just Love Durham held their second annual Alternative Freshers Fair for local charities and community projects.
The fair, held at St Nicholas Church, Durham, brought together charities and projects that included Durham Food Bank, Street Lights, and Junction 42: a project working in local prisons.
Just Love Durham is a Christian Social Justice Organisation founded by students in April 2014.
Henry Silva, a second-year from St John’s College and co-president of Just Love Durham, told Palatinate that the idea of the event was for students “to meet lots of organisations doing things to help the poor, oppressed, vulnerable and marginalised in Durham.
“We believe that all through the Bible we see a God who cares and it is so vital to our faith to act in a way which shows care and compassion for all people in society”.
He also said that he really hoped that the event would have a positive impact on student–local relations in the community. “I’d really love more students to get involved and meet locals,” he said.
Many of the organisations at the fair were not Durham Students’ Union-affiliated societies and often not necessarily student led. The event provided a “platform” for students to hear about projects they might otherwise not have heard about.
Maddie Kavanagh, a first-year student from St Mary’s College, attended the event and said: “It just shows a more rustic side to Durham in the area where there’s most need. It’s eye-opening really.”
Just Love Durham works with other student groups such as Durham Stop the Trafficking of People Society (DUSTOPS), and international charities including Tearfund, Christian Aid and Open Doors.
Photograph: Just Love Durham