group of people singing and clapping

Kent Community shared festive wishes and support for University’s Sanctuary students

A memorable Christmas celebration

We were delighted to welcome community members, staff, and students to the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus on Tuesday 12th December for Carols Around the Christmas Tree. It was an opportunity for us to come together to celebrate the season, sing carols, listen to a performance by the Canterbury 4 Ukraine Ladies Choir, and hear more about the University’s sanctuary programme.

photo of a group if women singing, conductor facing the audience and smiling

The STAR (Student Action for Refugees) student group read some extracts from the Refugee Tales to reflect on the experiences of detainees in the UK. We heard from Philip Pothen and Sam Scott on the University’s plans to continue fundraising to support our Sanctuary Scholars, and how together we can help refugees and asylum seekers pursue their dreams.

group of people smiling young man reading, with people listening

All were invited to add their wishes to our Christmas tree, and think about what we could contribute in terms of time, expertise and donations to grow our work in making a real difference to local asylum seekers and refugees, and provide a transformative experience to our student scholars.

woman writing on a tag next to a decorated christmas tree

Student, staff and community attendees then enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine and mulled apple juice together.

young man with long hair and woolly hat raising his glass and smiling at the camera close up of Christmas tree with wish tag reading 'I wish all students felt safe and wanted here'

What are Sanctuary Scholarships?

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to access higher education whatever their background. We currently have 11 students on Sanctuary Scholarships, giving refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to receive a free University of Kent education, with a full fee waiver as well as a small maintenance grant.

Thanks to a generous supporter, every gift to the Sanctuary Fund this season will be matched, meaning that with Gift Aid, every pound you give now is worth two pounds fifty!

This Christmas as you plan presents for friends and family, please consider giving the gift of contributing to someone’s education and ability to support themselves while they study here. Give to the Sanctuary Fund online.