Students have donated hundreds of items for S6 Foodbank in a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ organised by Sheffield SU’s Welfare Officer Katharine Swindells.

Unlike a traditional advent calendar, a Reverse Advent Calendar involves filling a box with a different item each day in the run up to Christmas, and then taking the box to a foodbank or charity.

Katharine Swindells said she was “overwhelmed” by how many items were donated

Ms Swindells said: “I’m so pleased. I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks so I kind of just let it roll after I set it up, apart from a few reminders and stuff, and posting on Facebook. I didn’t know what the result was going to be, so I’m really happy and overwhelmed by the final result. It’s just amazing.”

The collection at the Students’ Union ran from Saturday 1 to Friday 14 December and was coordinated by Ms Swindells, with help from Cat Oldham, who works in Volunteering at the SU.

“I’m really happy and overwhelmed by the final result”

“It’s an idea I’d seen on the internet last year,” said Ms Swindells. “This year Trussell Trust, who run a lot of food banks across the country, were really encouraging people to do it.

“You donate 24 items, like the 24 chocolates you have in an advent calendar, in the run up to Christmas. We had to do a bit of shuffling around with the original concept to make it work with term time and work with our set up.”

Student groups and staff donated 13 boxes packed full of items ranging from gloves to chocolate

Student groups and staff collected 13 packed boxes and many more bags full of items for the scheme, ranging from essentials like rice and gloves to festive treats such as Christmas cake.

Ms Swindells said: “Society maybe has this idea that people who are not well off don’t deserve to have treats, which is completely absurd and, I think, pretty horrible.”

“Everyone should be able to enjoy this time of year and enjoy what Christmas means”

“Actually Christmas is a lovely time for being with your family, eating well, showing how much you love each other. I think things like this that have got treats like cake and biscuits and chocolate – things that are not the basic necessities – are just as important.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy this time of year and enjoy what Christmas means, so that’s really nice.”

For more information on the S6 Foodbank and how you can help, visit their website here.

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