THE University of Bradford is teaming up with a homelessness charity to spread some festive cheer to disadvantaged young people across the district this Christmas.

Staff at the university's Faculty of Health Studies have joined forces with Centrepoint to collect gifts for people aged 16 to 25 who are being supported by the charity this winter.

Centrepoint supports more than 320 homeless young people across the Bradford district every single day, also receiving an average of between eight and ten new referrals each week.

As well as providing a safe place to stay, the charity provides support to ensure young people become physically and mentally healthy, offering access to education and training opportunities in skills designed to promote independent living.

A spokesman for the charity said: "Many of the young people we support won’t be receiving gifts this Christmas, they don’t have a support network of family or friends to buy for them, and they can’t afford to buy presents for their own friends.

"Having something new to open on Christmas Day really does help put a smile on everyone’s faces."

Under their new partnership, university staff will be collecting donations of gifts suitable for 16 to 25 year olds, such as toiletries, games, and gift sets.

Presents should be left unwrapped so that support workers from the charity can decide which individual to forward them to.

Those wishing to support the appeal can also donate money which Centrepoint will use to purchase appropriate presents.

Amy Newton, head of administration at the Faculty of Health Studies, said: "Centrepoint Bradford does a fantastic job of supporting young people who find themselves homeless and in need.

"We hope to collect as many gifts as possible and encourage all staff and students to get involved and help us make sure that everyone has something to open over Christmas."

Centrepoint's Faye Edmondson added: "We are so grateful to the University of Bradford, and the Faculty of Health Studies in particular, for supporting Centrepoint this Christmas through this present drive.

"We rely on support from the local community to help ensure that we are able to give each of the young people we work with a present this Christmas, and without your generosity many of our young people simply wouldn’t have anything to open come Christmas Day.

"Thank you for helping to bring the Christmas spirit to Centrepoint and homeless young people in our city."

Donations can be dropped off with the Faculty of Health Studies Marketing and Recruitment team.

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