One of the wonderful things about working here at the University of Worcester is how we collectively (for the most part) take a break between Christmas and New Year. Like many other Higher Education establishments classrooms are closed, services take a well deserved break and students go home with a festive bag of laundry.
As always, there are exceptions to the rule.
A proportion of our students remain in accommodation during the holiday period. For most this is a choice to stay and experience Christmas festivities in the UK. For others the University is, for a variety of reasons, their current home.
For some students the sudden absence of flat mates after exams, the quietness of the corridors and the general shutting down of shops and businesses (on Christmas day in particular) can be hard. Each year there are students who may not have appreciated how isolated they might feel. The festive season’s focus on family, celebration and joy can throw individual situations into sharp relief.
As a University we offer different ways for those students who remain to meet each other or to join in with the festivities if they choose. Different departments and teams arrange events to bring people together, from a Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings in the canteen, to excursions, like a day on the Malvern Hills, and Christmas Day hospitality with local families.
Fiona Haworth, University Chaplain, co-ordinates the Christmas Day hospitality scheme, and is available to support students to access the different opportunities during the holidays. Most of the students taking up this opportunity are international students spending Christmas away from home, but it is open to any student who might otherwise be alone at Christmas. If you would like to offer a place at your table to a student on Christmas Day, please contact Fiona, and please make sure your students know that there is hospitality available for them if they need it at Christmas.