Durham University honoured as “Business of the Year” by County Durham Together Awards

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Held annually in partnership with Durham County Council, the County Durham Together Awards has recently named Durham University as the county’s business of the year.

The award is dedicated to honour individuals who reflect dedication in their work surrounding the local community. It aims to bind together private businesses, enterprising individuals, philanthropic organisations and the public sector by celebrating their work and community building efforts. 

Focusing on the extensive volunteering efforts by university staff and students, the award placed an emphasis on Durham University’s Outreach Programme, where in 2023 alone, 1,964 staff members and students have dedicated 22,800 hours to volunteering in the local community. 

Speaking on the award, Durham University’s website reads: “We take great pride in the diverse array of volunteer opportunities available to our entire University community.

“Student volunteers can engage in more than 20 student-led projects, collaborate with affiliated charities, and partner organisations, or participate in one-time opportunities.” 

Staff members and students have dedicated 22,800 hours of community service in 2023

The strong initiatives of volunteering work by staff and students has resulted a total of 27 cleanups of beaches in the Durham area, with an impressive number of 190 bags of waste collected by volunteer workers. Student-led initiatives had also made lasting impacts in Durham as around 1,300 students had invested 17,000 hours of community service, which includes fundraising, collection efforts and partnering to work with numerous philanthropic organisations such as FoodBank and Stray Aid. 

“We are always keen to support the County Durham Together Awards because, in our work at County Durham Community Foundation, we are working every day with these unsung heroes. There are hundreds of them in our communities, working – often behind the scenes – to make a positive difference for people,” said Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive of the County Durham Community Foundation in The Northern Echo.

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