TWENTY disadvantaged children have had one of the best weeks of their lives after going on a 'kids camp' run by student volunteers from the University of York.

The residential camp took place at Marrick Priory, an outdoor activity centre near Richmond, where the youngsters took part in activities such as caving, canoeing and zip-lining, as well as a trip to an ice cream parlour.

The university Student's Union's activities officer, Chris Wall, said:‘Several of the kids who took part told us after that they’d had the best week of their life.

"‘It was great to see a lot of them facing up to their fears on some of the more challenging activities, and having a great deal of fun at the same time.’

He said that as well as giving the children an opportunity to experience many new opportunities, it also benefitted the 14 student volunteers, who were able to develop a range of skills, including leadership, teamwork and working with children.

Students from York’s two universities and two higher education colleges are now involved in a wide range of activities which benefit the community practically.

The Student Community Partnership, which combines the four institutions and City of York Council, gives practical advice to students about living harmoniously in the community, as well as championing the contribution of students to the economy and community of York.

The partnership’s new campaign, ‘York Loves Students’, will give recognition to students who contribute in a positive way to their community. New calculations by the universities and higher education institutions in York have revealed that 75,000 volunteering hours have been logged by students in the city and, if volunteers had been paid at the minimum wage rate, the cost of their employment would have been over £500,000.

Laura Jackson, York St John University's Students’ Union president, said, ‘The campaign is a great way to celebrate the many ways in which students in York give something back to the city which is so important to them."