Edinburgh Local

Giving and receiving at Christmas

Staff and students are busy fundraising and giving this Christmas, and the University also offers a great selection of unusual gifts.

All across the University, staff and students are thinking of those less fortunate at Christmas.  Donations of food, cake bakes and sales, quizzes and many other events are steadily raising money for local and national charities such as MoveOn, a charity which supports young vulnerable people and those at risk of homelessness in central Scotland, and MIND which supports better mental health.

Over 300 staff and students will be camping out on 9 December at the Sleep in the Park event in Princes Street Gardens to raise money to help homeless people find accommodation and employment.

All4Paws is a staff and student-led group at our Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies which helps look after the pets of homeless people.  They’re running a Dick Vet Christmas backpack appeal to collect bags of blankets, toiletries, clothing and treats for homeless people and their pets.  Last year, an amazing 65 backpacks were distributed and they’re hoping to exceed that total this year.  All offers of donations are welcome.

If, on the other hand, you’re searching for Christmas gift ideas for friends and family, we may be able to offer something a bit different for those you love.

Brushing up languages for the summer holidays, delving into philosophy or learning to paint are wonderful ways to pass the dark winter evenings, so spark their enthusiasm this Christmas and buy them a short course in something they love.

Browse short courses


Give the gift of fitness and buy a gym membership for the Centre for Sport and Exercise. Our state-of-the-art facilities in the centre of the city train Olympic and international athletes and are also geared to those of us who ate too much Christmas dinner!

Buy a gym membership


For a gift that says Edinburgh, our Visitor Centre shop offers something for everyone. It holds a wide selection of beautiful University merchandise from warm scarves and silver cufflinks to mugs and hip flasks.  You don’t have to call in to buy: there’s an online shop, too.

Visit the Giftshop website


Or if you’d like to support our research into Multiple Sclerosis at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, Linda Campbell runs an online auction site which features a terrific array of goods and services from bespoke jewellery and handmade home decorations to breaks away and stunning artwork.  

Explore the online auction

Have a wonderful Christmas!