We support and facilitate student and staff volunteering at Durham University, running volunteering projects in the local community. We have over 50 projects across the university, working with adults, children, animals and the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Scroll down to read our FAQs or watch the video of out DUSVO exec answering FAQs
Our projects are open to everyone, and most don’t require specific skills or experience. For more information on any of our projects, visit their pages using the bar above or contact a member of staff, who can tell you more.
We will reimburse your travel costs when volunteering on a supported project, as long as you keep your receipt e.g. bus ticket. We do not usually reimburse taxi fares; these must be agreed with us beforehand.
What is a DBS check?
DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service and replaces the old CRB checks. A DBS check is done to establish whether you have anything in your criminal record which would affect our decision to have you as a volunteer.
Do I need one?
If you will be working regularly with children you need a DBS check. You generally will not need a DBS check to volunteer at a one-off event. See our ‘projects’ pages to see if you need a DBS check for the project you would like to join.
How do I get a DBS check?
Just pick up a form from the volunteering office – a staff member will explain how to do the form and what documents we need to see to verify your identity. DBS checks are free for volunteers.
How long does a DBS check take to process?
On average they take 2-3 weeks but it can take more or less time – mistakes made on the form can slow down the process so make sure you fill it in carefully.
Can I start volunteering before I get my DBS check back?
Some projects will allow you to attend as a one-off before your DBS is back, others will not – just check with a member of staff in the office.
This varies depending on the project – look on the website to find a project you are interested in and then email the project leader for more information.
Where are projects held? Projects are held in various locations; some are based in University buildings and others are in the local community.
Where can I find out about the projects? Get hold of a copy of our Project Catalogue online or from our office. Alternatively, if you have registered on our volunteering portal then you will be able to view all available projects on line and apply directly to join.
Can I join more than one project? Yes, you can join as many projects as you like.
What if no project looks right for me? If you can’t picture yourself joining any of our projects, staff are happy to explore opportunities to develop new projects to fit your interests and capabilities. Most projects are started by students with an initial idea, and we encourage creation and change of projects as situations demand.
We run social and fundraising events; one-off volunteering events; volunteer training; and awards to our volunteers at the annual Durham University Volunteering Awards.
I’m interested in getting involved, but I have questions. Who can I ask?
I have a problem with my volunteering. Who do I contact?
If you have any problems please contact [email protected] initially and we’ll identify the best person to get back to you.
Where is the volunteering Office?
We are based in the Palatine Centre, on the ground floor, room PC012. Open 9.30am – 4.30pm Mon – Fri.