University of Sunderland Vice-chancellor and staff show the true meaning of Christmas with festive fundraiser

Staff from the city’s university are raising money to support vulnerable members of their community – and Vice-chancellor Sir David Bell is leading the way with a £500 donation.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 6:38 pm

The University of Sunderland’s We Care initiative has provided longtime support for students experiencing financial or emotional difficulties.

The scheme focuses on providing support for students who may have been through the care system or are estranged from their families. The impact of loneliness and isolation is never more apparent than over Christmas and staff at the university wanted to show their support.

Non more so than Vice-chancellor Sir David Bell who said: “Last year, with staff donations and the support of our friends at the Rotary Club and our wonderful philanthropic supporter, Helen McCardle, we raised £10,310. With that money, we made Christmas very special for a great group of students.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I want us to see if we can match, or even exceed that amount this year. So to get us off to a flying start, my wife and I are pledging £500 to the fund."

Read More

Read More
Partially sighted University of Sunderland student from Hebburn wins Best Newcom...

For many vulnerable students who have come through the care system, Christmas will be a time they will spend alone, perhaps without a card, gift, festive meal or companionship. For those students with children, it’s a particularly difficult time trying to provide for their children while making Christmas special.

Sir David added: “For me – and for my colleagues at the University – it’s an opportunity to remind our care-experienced and estranged students that they really matter to us and are valued and important members of the University community.”

University of Sunderland Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, has donated £500 to the University's We Care at Christmas fundraiser.

Staff feel the situation has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. A statement on the University’s GoFundMe page said: “The financial impact of the ongoing pandemic has been particularly hard on these students. Without family support, many are no longer able to work part time and are struggling with numerous factors impacting on their overall mental health and well-being.

“We want to support them and make Christmas 2021 a happy and memorable time. This is your opportunity to remind these young people that they are valued and important.”

This is the second year the University has run the scheme. Last year the initiative raised £10,310, with over £3,000 of staff donations matched by donors and friends of the University.

Staff at the University of Sunderland have launched a We Care at Christmas fundraising campaign to raise money for vulnerable students in their community.

A message from the editor:

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling Sunderland’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Echo’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.