Oxford students throw Christmas party for elderly in Oxfordshire

Oxford University students hosted elderly people from Oxfordshire at a Christmas Party on Friday (30 November 2012).

Jesus College students invited around 50 elderly people to a party in the college from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Christmas lunch was served, student musicians performed and a raffle was drawn with prizes donated by Marks and Spencer. Guests chatted to students and were given a tour of the college.

Event organiser Cyrus Nayeri, a third-year student reading Geography at Jesus College, said: 'It is very important to the University and its students that we form close ties between colleges and the local community.

'We are very keen to give back to the community by inviting people who may not have a chance to get out as much as they would like to meet students and have a tour of an Oxford college.'

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: 'Many students and staff are very involved in the local community and it is a major aim of the University of Oxford to live and work in harmony with our neighbours.

'This Christmas party is a great idea and I am sure that both the students and their guests will benefit from the day.'

Bernard Slatter, one of the guests, said the lunch took him 'into the unexpected, with slight apprehension' and 'resulted in total pleasure, food, music and company!'

The guests were chosen by Age UK Oxfordshire and a number live in St John’s Wood retirement home. Mr Nayeri raised the money for the event from the Jesus College’s Anthony Fletcher Innovation Award and an additional grant from his college.