HUNDREDS of students remaining away from home in York this Christmas are set to get special support.

York St John University say that their institution alone has close to 200 students set to remain in York for Christmas this year.

They say that they have already started handing out festive support packages for students remaining in accommodation during the holiday period and will continue doing so in to the New Year right up to Tuesday, January 4.

Last year the University acknowledged the difficulty some students may face due to the pandemic, as well as personal circumstances which mean they will remain in private and rented accommodation over the festive period.

Not wanting students to feel isolated, the Student Life team devoted hours to present wrapping and hamper making, distributing packages in time for Christmas.

The tradition continues this year, with added support from Morrisons supermarket. Festive packages are filled with delicious food items, thanks to a generous donation from the retailer.

Wendy Davies, community champion for Morrisons at Foss Island said: “It was a privilege to meet the staff at York St John University and to donate goodies that will make students’ Christmas a good and happy one.

“I would like to wish all staff and students a very Happy Christmas from Morrisons.”

Packages will be handed out in the lead up to Christmas, with students not heading home for the holidays invited to meet for mince pies and festive drinks.

Gillian Sowray, who is the PA to the director of student life at the university, has led the coordination of goodies.

She said: “All our students deserve a happy holiday, so this gesture is to remind our care leavers, international and estranged students that they are not alone, and we will be thinking of them over the break.

“It really is a team effort, and it has been wonderful to have the added support from Morrisons to make the packages special.”

As The Press reported at the time last month more than 1,600 graduates graduated across five days of ceremonies from York St John this year.

The Minster ceremonies were presided over by BBC journalist Reeta Chakrabarti who is the university's chancellor, and pro chancellor Dame Julia Unwin.

They are a highlight of the student experience at York St John and the class of 2020 had waited more than a year since finishing their degrees for them to take place.