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University community donates 350 gift bags to Age UK Brighton and Hove

L-R: Chief Operating Officer, Tim Westlake; Doctoral School Administrator, Simone Robinson; first recipient of the Sussex gift bags, Vera Brackenbridge; and Age UK Communities and Inclusion Development Manager, Roisin Murphy

There was a fantastic response from the Sussex community to the Age UK seasonal giving event on 7 December, with over 350 bags brimming with thoughtful and useful gifts donated for distribution to older people in the local area who are alone at Christmas. 

Chief Operating Officer, Tim Westlake attended the event which is run annually by Doctoral School Administrator, Simone Robinson and colleagues in Research and Enterprise Services. 

Simone said: “The University is an incredibly important part of our local community, and Sussex staff have been looking out for their neighbours like this for years – in the past giving hundreds of gifts to vulnerable children and donating half a tonne of goods to local food banks.

“I’m delighted by the response to the Age UK Christmas campaign. This year every department in the University was involved in donating items to the event. In the end, the bags contained over 1,750 individual gifts. An amazing achievement.”

University Provost, Saul Becker, said: “I want to thank Simone and all of you for the fantastic work you put into this. Sadly, this can be a difficult and lonely time for many and these gifts can bring real happiness to people’s lives. It is a fantastic thing that you have done, and I am so very grateful to you all.”

Communities and Inclusion Development Manager at Age UK Brighton & Hove, Roisin Murphy, said: “We're blown away by the support of the University staff. For some older people Christmas can be a lonely or difficult time. The goody bags will not only be an unexpected treat, they'll also let people know that others are thinking of them over the holiday season."

Age UK recently identified a number of 'loneliness hotspots' in Brighton and Hove and state that the city features in the top 20% for loneliness.

By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Friday, 14 December 2018