Castle Community Action

Our outreach and volunteering community: bridging the gap between “town and gown”.

Our Mission
A student-led committee at the heart of Castle life, CCA offers the chance to break away from the university bubble and explore unforgettable new experiences across the North East.

Since 2014, we’ve been working hard to break down the long-standing divide between Durham’s student and local populations. By building meaningful and sustainable relationships across various community sectors, we’ve come to rank amongst the colleges with the most impactful volunteering programs. But this is only the start: we’re always looking for new volunteers, sponsors or collaborators, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What is CCA?
Castle Community Action encompasses weekly volunteering activities across four key sectors of the local community:

Homelessness: Serving complimentary hot food and drinks to vulnerable guests at Sanctuary 21.
Elderly Care: Engaging with residents at Hallgarth Care home, as well as hosting an annual tea party and Christmas card appeal.
Primary Education: Hosting reading sessions and after-school activities at local primary schools.
Secondary Education: One-to-one tutoring sessions with sixth form students at St Leonards School, as well as university application and interview support.

Our Other Projects: Outreach
Thanks to growing volunteer numbers and community support, CCA expands year upon year to encompass new outreach initiatives. Currently, the following projects accompany our weekly volunteer work:

The Environment Committee: Committed to making Castle more eco-friendly and sustainable.
The Charities Committee: Working to meet fundraising goals for college charities, selected annually by JCR members.
Community Days: Opening the Castle gates to members of the local community, hosting family-friendly events and activities.
The Charity Auction: Runs annually to raise funds which support the initiatives of CCA over the coming year.
Year 10 Residential: A fully-funded overnight trip to the Castle for local year 10 students, with organised workshops, classes and tours.
The Half-Marathon: Beloved Castle student Olivia Burt passed away tragically in 2018. To honour her memory and ensure that her spirit lives on within the college, we collaborate annually with Durham University Sailing Club to run a half-marathon. This event raises funds for Olivia Inspires, an educational outreach charity set up by Olivia’s parents in the New Forest.
University College Outreach Funding Committee: An award of up to £1,500 for any student(s) embarking on a new outreach project.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering with CCA means you’ll leave Durham with strong connections not just to student life, but also to the wider community. You’ll be making a difference to the lives of others whilst becoming the kind of person who cares, helps and engages.

We’ll welcome you warmly into a forward-thinking community of Castle students, fostering a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Whether it’s your first day as a fresher or your final month as a postgraduate, we’d love to get to know you!

Plus, you’ll gain a range of valuable skills to look back on fondly for years to come. From leadership, teamwork and customer service to experiences in teaching or elderly care, CCA offers a safe and collaborative space to grow and learn. The schedule and required commitment varies with each opportunity, so you’re guaranteed to find something suited to your needs or interests.

Student Testimonials

Take it from us – CCA is a truly special and valued part of the college community! Here’s what some of our lovely volunteers have to say:

“Volunteering allows students to make a difference in the wider community and form wonderful friendships both with peers and local residents.” – Emma Simpson, Outreach Officer 2020-21

“CCA has such a lovely atmosphere and it’s such a great way to get involved right in the heart of castle life.” – Ava Whitefoord, Graphics Officer 2021-22

“My favourite thing about outreach is seeing the collaboration of a team to achieve a real, tangible difference in people’s lives.” – Jared Mason, Charities Officer 2021-22

Get in Touch!
You can reach the Outreach Officer, Olivia Adkin, at
castle.outreach@durham.ac.uk
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opportunities and more!