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York campaign provides Christmas cheer to care-experienced and estranged students

Posted on 8 December 2021

The University of York has raised over £4,000 to provide Christmas stocking gifts for care-experienced and estranged students.

staff wrapping partyStaff volunteers (pictured) took part in a 'wrapping party' to wrap the Christmas gifts. Photo credit: Alex Holland

Now in its fifth year, the initiative supports students who may not have anywhere to go over the winter vacation, may spend Christmas Day alone, and may not receive any gifts.

This year, the campaign has seen more than 96 care-experienced and estranged students given Christmas gifts to enjoy during the festive season, with £4,243.75 raised this year through Gift Aid.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery was among the volunteers who presented gifts to students earlier this month.


Chris Hoyle, who came to the University having grown up in care, and who founded the project, said: "Christmas isn't a happy time for everybody, unfortunately. With this campaign, the University of York aims to ensure that all of our students receive some happiness and festive cheer. 

"This year has been another fantastic year of fundraising with people giving generously to this project both in financial terms and in spreading the message. I'll be forever grateful for the way the University of York family supports our students, especially while still in a pandemic."


Care leavers are cited as one of five key priority groups by the Office for Students, yet the participation rate for care leavers in higher education is considerably lower than it is for other socio-economically disadvantaged students.

In 2019 the University unveiled a support package to provide free accommodation to students who have been in care for the duration of their course.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University boosted its financial support for care-experienced and estranged graduates.


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