The University of Lincoln is offering a service for students stuck in the city over the winter break. MB1009, otherwise known as the “beanbag room” in the main academic building, will be converted into a comfortable lounge, with lots of sofas, newspapers, board games, jigsaws, DVDs, chocolate, mince pies, and drinks. Adjacent to the room will be a TV lounge, where computer games can be played.
“The aim is to provide a welcoming social focal-point each day, where anyone on their own over Christmas can drop in, stay or find out who else is around so to go off with others to do other things,” says Les Acklam, the university’s chaplain and one of the organisers, along with Paul Lindemann, a counsellor at the university.
The service is open from between 1pm and 6pm each day, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. A meal will be offered at around 4pm, though a full Christmas dinner can’t be provided as there is no access to the university’s kitchens.
Although a large attendance is not expected, “that’s all the more reason to have something,” says Acklam. “If someone is the sole occupant of their accommodation block, it can be somewhat daunting… Those who came along last year found it immensely valuable and the volunteers found it to be most enjoyable.”
The reasons students use the service varies: “Some students have no other home. They moved to Lincoln to be a student and have no family, or are estranged from them. Some need to work, for example both on Christmas Eve and on Boxing Day. Some haven’t the air fare to return to their home overseas. There is also a small number of ’at risk’ students,” said Acklam.
Anyone who wishes to support the project by offering their time to help host the party should contact Les Acklam at Student Services, by phone on 01522 886 079, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Tweet