Sheffield Students’ Union Welfare Officer Katharine Swindells is running a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ initiative throughout the first half of December to collect for the S6 foodbank.

She is challenging students to donate an item a day, having worked with the volunteering team and the foodbank to establish which items are most desperately needed during the festive period.

Katharine said: “I’m so excited that on Friday the SU will be starting our two-week Reverse Advent Calendar for S6 Foodbank.

“It can be easy to stay in the student bubble and stay blissfully unaware of the things happening outside”

“It’s a project I’ve worked on with the volunteering team, and the idea is that, in the last two weeks of term, there are 24 different items to collect.

Suffering outside the student bubble

Homelessness has become a familiar sight in Sheffield city centre.

“The idea came about when I saw how much I’ve got going on this Christmas. It’s such a fun time of year, but it can also be so decadent, and I think it’s really important to keep in mind that many are not so fortunate.”

The Officer team will be taking part in the initiative alongside SU staff. A collection point will be set up each day at the beach huts in the SU building.

“It can be easy to stay in the student bubble and stay blissfully unaware of the things happening outside, but the fact is that there are people suffering, right on our doorstep,” Katharine added.

“It’s so important that students involve themselves in Sheffield, understand the struggles the city faces, and experience the amazing parts of the community too.”

Giving back a helping hand

A recent United Nations report lamented poverty in the United Kingdom. Credit: Geograph

The S6 foodbank is based on Gilpin Street in the Philadelphia region in the north of the city.

Chris from the foodbank said: “We at the foodbank believe that it takes all of us to help someone out of trouble and not just one person or organisation.

“We have all needed a helping hand in one way or another so donating non-perishable food is an easy way to give back.

“We are all about making sure each person who comes to the foodbank feels special.”



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