MAD Monday for University of Sunderland

Donations at St Peters Campus/Sophie Dishman.
Donations at St Peters Campus/Sophie Dishman.

It was Make a Difference Monday for students and staff at the University of Sunderland on Monday, February 22.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Careers and Employability Service, the Students’ Union and other universities.

Staff and students were asked to donate unwanted items for the Salvation Army and Centre Point.

Items included tinned and dry food, full or part full toiletries, excluding razors, warm clothing and clean bedding.

Adam Gawne, Students Union volunteer opportunities officer at the University of Sunderland, said: “MAD Monday came about as we wanted to try and support local communities as much as we can and we decided to call it MAD Monday for Make a Difference Day.

“We are collecting for Sunderland branches of the Salvation Army and Centrepoint, but what we are doing is joining in with other universities across the North East to donate. Universities will be working with the Salvation Army, other universities will be working with other local organisations that they know.”

A spokesperson from the University of Sunderland, added: “MAD Monday really has Made A Difference. We’ve been inundated with donations from across the university ranging from toiletries to food, warm clothing and bedding.

“These might seem like day-to-day essentials but they will make a huge difference to the two chosen charities – CentrePoint and The Salvation Army.”

“Thousands of people across the UK are left homeless and are forced to sleep on the streets and we, as a university are proud to offer our support which will hopefully help these two great causes continue to offer their services to homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.”

The university also has dedicated events throughout the week.

A spokesperson for the University of Sunderland, added: “There’s still time for you to get involved in February Frenzy. We’re working with the Students’ Union to celebrate student employment and volunteering week. You can follow the hashtag #UoSFebFrenzy”.

Laura Hope, Opportunities Adviser at the University, said: “The event was organised by myself and Adam Gawne from the Students’ Union as part of a campaign with other North East universities including Teesside, Durham, Northumbria and Newcastle.

“We wanted to do something that benefited the homeless and these two charities provide a broad range of services across Sunderland.”

The Salvation Army’s Southwick community project manager, Graham Wharton said: “It’s really encouraging to see young people giving up their time volunteering to help others in their community. Volunteering is an excellent way of taking what valuable lifeskills people have at any age to make a difference in someone’s life – the ripple effect this has on a community cannot be underestimated. 

“We’re grateful for the students’ generosity and will be able to use their donations of clothes, food and toiletries to offer practical support to those who need it most in Sunderland, and we hope we can work alongside each other in the future, drawing from a shared bank of skills and knowledge to support our community together.”

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