Published on 18 December 2020
Students unable to travel home for the Christmas holidays woke up to discover Santa had paid them an early visit today.
Hundreds of students from the University of Sunderland got a surprise delivery in the shape of a festive goody bag.
Staff and partners from across the University came together to buy, pack, and deliver the treats, ensuring no one misses out of some Christmas cheer.
Some students have opted to stay in accommodation over the holidays rather than returning home, whilst many international students chose to remain in the city due to the pandemic.
Throughout the holidays University staff will be on hand to support, chat, listen and take care of any students who need them.
Tracey McKenzie, Head of Wellbeing at the University, said: “We wanted students to focus on their wellbeing and self-care this Christmas.
“We were particularly keen to ensure all students know they are not alone and that we have a wide range of activities and support in place should this be needed. We want to make sure they know there is additional support 24/7 so whatever the day or the time, there is someone there.”
Student Journey, Estates and Facilities staff, as well as the Students’ Union and University catering team, Elior, all came together to arrange the goody bags.
Paula Bass, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “It has been a massive logistical exercise involving ordering 525 selection boxes, gingerbread men, mince pies, puzzles, colouring books, shower gels etc, at a time when Christmas goodies are in short supply.”
Students in accommodation at Panns Bank, Scotia Quay, Clanny House and The Forge, all received the bags.
Chris Davison, Sunderland Students’ Union President of Activities, said: “We are delighted to hear the support that has been shown to our students staying in the city during the festive period."
Staff and supporters of the University have already raised over £10,000 to ensure that some of the most vulnerable members of the student community have a happy Christmas.
In November, the University launched the We Care at Christmas appeal to support care-experienced and estranged students at its Sunderland and London campuses.