Why we've signed the Manifesto

“We are proud to support the NCCPE’s manifesto for public engagement.  A world leader in higher education provision, Durham University is socially-responsible institution, committed to working with partners to enhance economic and social development internationally, nationally and locally.  We see the manifesto as an important way of signaling the work that the University undertakes and its value.”

Our approach to public engagement

Durham UniversityOur public engagement model is organic, multifaceted, responsive and sustainable, takes a ‘whole University’ approach, recognising that, with 3,500 staff, the University is the third largest employer (after the NHS and local authorities) in County Durham. Our approach is also to focus on areas of maximum disadvantage. We were the first higher education institution in our region to develop a staff volunteering scheme, which has achieved kitemark status. Our staff volunteering complements the work of Student Community Action who provide student volunteering projects in community settings, and the work of Sport in the Community. We also provide opportunities for student engagement through placements in community and voluntary sector settings which are part of a recognised course of study.  Our science outreach work shares the fruits of the cutting edge research conducted by members of the faculties of science and of social sciences and health. The Centre for Social Justice and Community Action facilitates community-based research around the themes of justice, co-inquiry and empowerment. DUCK – the Durham University Charities Kommittee – raises more money annually than any other student fund-raising organisation in the UK.  The University has been a key partner in the development of a £1.2m World Heritage Site Visitor Centre on Owengate (the route up to Durham Cathedral). This will become another important hub for the University’s public engagement activities.

A more detailed account of Durham University’s model of public engagement is contained in Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 4 (2011).

Links to our public engagement work


Name: Dr Andy Cattermole

Title: Head of Staff Volunteering and Outreach in the Experience Durham

Email: a.j.cattermole@durham.ac.uk