Durham students raise £55,000 for Create

DUCFS Durham students at their fashion show

We’re delighted that students at Durham University have raised an incredible £55,000 to support our work.

The Durham University Charity Fashion Show (DUCFS) runs every year, and its executive committee chose Create to be the beneficiary of its fundraising efforts in 2021. Through a combination of on-the-night donations, live auctions and pre-event community fundraising, the team raised £55,000. This money will be used to support Create projects where the need is greatest.

DUCFS Durham students at their fashion show


The COVID-19 pandemic almost prevented the fashion show from taking place at all. Following rigorous planning and discussions with university and local council staff, however, it was eventually allowed to go ahead with reduced capacity and COVID restrictions in place, ensuring the safety of all involved.

The show ran across three nights at the Racecourse in Durham, from 16-18 June, with each night featuring a drinks reception, an auction, the main catwalk event and an after-party. A whopping 840 tickets were sold across the three nights, and 42 models took part.

Emily Kirkby, president of DUCFS, said: “I can’t begin to express how incredible it’s been to raise money for Create this year. It was a no brainer to work alongside them – as a platform built on creativity, we recognise the power of the arts in promoting mental health and community spirit. Especially after the impacts of COVID-19, Create’s work is transformative in these areas, and with such a wonderful team behind their success, it has been a real pleasure to work with them and learn more about their cause.

“To announce proudly our £55,000 donation was a wonderful way to end our partnership. The show was a true celebration of creativity and it was magical to be able to have a proper showcase after the year we’ve all had – all I can say is, I hope we did Create proud!” 

Our CEO, Nicky Goulder, said: “It’s truly humbling to receive this funding from these incredible students. The way they innovated during a very tricky year, enabling them to put on such a dazzling, professional event – and raise so much money to support our work – is seriously impressive.

“This gift will enable us to connect, empower and upskill even more vulnerable participants through the creative arts, giving our participants a chance to express themselves, take a break from the challenges they face, meet other people and boost their wellbeing. Thank you to everyone at DUCFS. We’re so appreciative of your hard work, commitment and support.”

DUCFS Durham students at their fashion show

Click to see photos from the event and backstage. A full live stream video is available here.

Watch the moment when the total fundraising amount was announced.

Read our interview with DUCFS president 2020/21 Emily Kirkby.