During these particularly challenging and uncertain times, the role of Welfare in university has been gaining much needed discourse, as taking care of one’s mental health and wellbeing is finding itself at the top of everyone’s list of priorities. Music Durham Welfare has been working hard to continue to ensure everyone’s access to the necessary support and guidance through signposting and campaigning. Engagement in the arts is a known way to reduce anxiety and stress, and we’ve been adjusting to the covid restrictions to continue to create an environment of community and togetherness through the arts.
What we do
The welfare team of Music Durham is striving to keep the student community cohesive through the pandemic by working on projects that deliver a sense of togetherness, to support each other through these difficult times. Here are some insights on who we are and what we do!
We are in charge of signposting, running welfare campaigns, and holding drop-in sessions for the Music Durham community. We have had these drop-in sessions in person previously, including having relaxed conversations over tea and biscuits and occasionally doughnuts in the music department’s common room. While not being able to have these sessions physically, for now, we continue to uphold our mental health safeguarding principle. This is why we have come up with our newest project – Stitching A Quilt of Community (in collaboration with the RT project), to introduce a unique opportunity for students, staff and the local community to get engaged in the Music Durham community!
Stitching a quilt of community
‘Stitching a Quilt of Community’ serves as a symbol for unity, to bring people together through the arts and combat loneliness and isolation during the pandemic. Anyone (not only students!) can contribute a square (15x15cm) using a piece of fabric they may find at home from an old t-shirt or bedsheet, decorating it however they like with embroidery, cross-stitch, or even markers and paint! When these are done, people will be able to drop these squares off at specific locations in Durham (TBA) in the last week of term (March 15-19th) and the Welfare team will stitch them together over the Easter holiday, creating a quilt that everyone has artistically contributed to. Students who are currently not in Durham will be able to post their squares through the mail, for which Music Durham will reimburse all costs. In addition, we have created an ‘interest form’ where we can get an idea of how many people are getting involved, as well as where people who would like to get involved but don’t have the means can request materials free of charge.
Our goal is to make this project as inclusive and accessible as possible, breaking down social barriers, age differences, and mental health stigma. This project is in support of the local registered mental health charity RT Projects which is based in nearby Gilesgate, which focuses particularly on suicide prevention. It goes without saying that in recent times their work has been especially valuable, and we are honoured to play our part in the Durham community and contribute to their impact. Last year, Music Durham held a concert in support of the charity called ‘Never Give Up’, and due to its success, we will be holding another fundraiser concert scheduled for the third term, in which the quilt will be unveiled. After this, the quilt will be gifted to the charity, where they can display it as a reminder of our community joining together during this time of stress.
How to get involved
Watch this video for more information.
Complete this form to show your interest.
If you need any more information, contact the Senior Welfare Officer at email@example.com