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University of Cumbria students help bring Christmas cheer to Carlisle Food Bank

BA students working with children and families, Jade Bibby (L) with Shannon Mullan and some of the goods collected for Carlisle Food Bank.

Bags of food collected by psychology, health and social studies students at the University of Cumbria have been donated to Carlisle’s food bank.

Inspired by their courses, students spontaneously agreed to act after learning how demand for supplies in the build up to Christmas is growing.

“To hear about the issues faced by people close to home was a real eye-opener and we were left frustrated and upset after watching a screening of the film I Daniel Blake which inspired us to want to do something,” Jade Bibby, a first year BA student studying working with children and families, said. She and colleague Shannon Mullan began collecting at student halls in Denton Holme. “You think of poverty as a foreign issue but it’s a lot closer to home and here, right at our front door,” Shannon said.

Other students and staff also donated with a large collection presented to Carlisle Food Bank whose chairman Rachael Rodway joined Carlisle city council leader Colin Glover in a seminar today (Wednesday 6 December) at the Fusehill Street Campus which heard about the realities of life on the breadline.

“They are obviously very committed to helping people in Carlisle who are in need of this service, “ Rachael said. “The University of Cumbria is embedded in the community more than others where they can live in halls of residence and not react with the community; in Carlisle you have to be part of the city and I think they are far more aware of the difficulties people are getting into.”

The seminar prompted a debate about benefits and the wider impact change of income can have on families and communities.

“We have a film club as part of the course and after watching I Daniel Blake I was proud that our students felt they wanted to help,” Chris Robinson, research assistant for children, young people and families, said.

Today’s event is the first in a series of talks arranged by the university which will see community leaders invited onto campus to talk about the challenges graduates will face when they enter the world of work.

“You’re giving vulnerable people in society a voice and a better future,” Colin Glover told students. “I have admiration that you have chosen to go down this career path.”

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