When you wish upon a tree…

Staff and students from Durham University have raised more than £1,300 for Children North East and Chester-le-Street’s REfUSE thanks to their Christmas Wish Tree appeal.

Each festive season the University’s Student Union chooses the causes they wish to support and our charity was one of those selected.

Durham University’s Wish Tree

The Christmas Wish Tree campaign was however a little different this time due to Covid-19. Liz Waller, Director of University Library and Collections, University Librarian, said:

We are unbelievably grateful to everyone who contributed to our Christmas Wish Tree fundraising efforts, particularly during these uncertain times.

“In previous years, we have asked our University community to purchase specific items from the charities’ wish lists, wrap them and return them to our Bill Bryson Library to put under the tree. With the pandemic forcing us to change our approach and ask for monetary donations we were concerned about what people might contribute. The result though is amazing and we are thrilled with the total donated to each of our chosen charities.”

Donations go to a variety of projects, including our craft resource packs for children

Our Chief Executive, Leigh Elliott, said: “We are so grateful to the staff and students at Durham University for this fantastic donation. Many of the families we work with will be experiencing real problems under this current lockdown and this will enable us to continue to provide food parcels, resource packs and other help to our beneficiaries. Thank you to everyone who took part.”

Nikki Dravers, founder of REfUSE, a surplus food redistribution charity that also runs a community cafe, added: “Our hearts broke reading some of the messages we received this Christmas, hearing just how much people are struggling to even put a meal on the table for their families.”

REfUSE redistribute surplus food that would otherwise be wasted