University tree donation aims to spread festive cheer

University tree donation aims to spread festive cheer

The University of Aberdeen has donated 20 Christmas trees to an organisation that supports young people from care experienced backgrounds.

The trees are being distributed to homes throughout the city, enabling young people from care backgrounds to enjoy some festive spirit.

Funded through a donation of £525 from the University’s Development Trust, the trees have been donated to the Aberdeen Care Experienced (ACE) support network, which aims to make life better for young people in the city who are either in care, or have had experience of being in care.

As a Corporate Parent, the University works with Aberdeen City Council and other organisations to support local good causes and create opportunities in areas that help those from disadvantaged backgrounds, for example through widening access initiatives that encourage young people to benefit from a University education.

Professor Alison Jenkinson, who is the University’s Dean for Widening Access, Articulation and Outreach, commented:  “I am delighted that the University has been able to support this worthwhile cause, and grateful to the Development Trust for their donation that has allowed us to purchase these trees for ACE.

“As a proud Corporate Parent, the University supports care experienced young people both before and after they commence their studies with us. The University works with a range of partners including ACE and Aberdeen City Council to help increase the opportunities for care experienced young people to gain a University education.

“While this is a small gesture, our hope is that these trees can help to brighten up Christmas for young people in our city, and I am grateful to ACE for giving us this opportunity to contribute to this lovely initiative.”

Rob Donelson, Executive Director of Advancement at the University of Aberdeen, commented:

“Gestures like this are especially important at Christmas time, but this year, with the pandemic restrictions and associated pressures that people face, it is even more important.

“We hope this donation of £525 - in line with our activities to mark the University’s 525th birthday this year - will help to provide some festive cheer for young people in Aberdeen.  The Development Trust is proud to support this partnership with ACE.”

Aberdeen City Council operational delivery convener Councillor John Wheeler said: “Christmas can often be difficult time for our care experienced young people, especially this year.

“Our staff have had to change how we can support our young people in their homes this Christmas due to coronavirus restrictions so the tree donations are going to help make Christmas a better experience and will allow them to feel part of a family.

“We are truly grateful for the donation and it will make a massive difference to young people celebrating the day in their own homes.”