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Christmas Marks the Advent of Kindness at Notre Dame

Our ‘reverse advent’ Student Volunteers.

This year’s advent period was full to bursting with charitable activities organised by the Notre Dame community of staff and students.

A highly successful reverse advent appeal was set up to benefit Leeds Women’s Aid, which you can read about here.

Collections were made for the following advent charities, which is a long-standing tradition at college:

  • St Anne’s Resource Centre. ‘A homelessness resource centre, working with people who are homeless, rough sleeping or vulnerably housed’.
  • Leeds Nightstop. ‘Provides emergency overnight accommodation for young homeless people who are facing a night on the streets or sleeping in an unsafe place.’
  • St Vincent de Paul Society. ‘Our vocation is to visit people in need, in their homes and on the street. We offer food parcels to people in need we visit, and they can ask us directly without requiring coupons.’
  • Beacon. ‘A consortium of 3 local organisations that has been commissioned by Leeds City Council to provide a new city wide Housing Related Support (HRS) accommodation service.’

To celebrate the feast of the college (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) PTE students focused on one of our core values, gratitude. With encouragement from staff, students considered all they are grateful for: from simple things like food and water to freedom of speech and free health care. Our students also wrote anonymous notes of gratitude to their teachers and other vital staff such as our cleaners, catering and office staff, thanking them for all they do.

Lastly, but by no means least, we considered and reflected upon those who stand up for what is right and are often imprisoned as a result. Inspired by Terry Waite’s story of receiving a card when imprisoned in Lebanon, the students wrote to people in a similar position, and the college sent on their messages of hope.