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New students find teddy bear picnics

26th September 2002

New students find teddy bear picnics

STUDENTS from around the world are in for a treat if they're about to embark on a course at one of the Midlands' universities. Though they might have been anxious about leaving home for the first time they could be surprised to find a picnic hamper from home containing a cute teddy bear... just to help them settle in to their new surroundings.

Aston University realised that leaving home for the first time is difficult, not only for first time students but also for their parents. So it came up with the idea of easing the pain with a 'Love from Home' hamper. Containing all sorts of traditional student fare, including pasta, baking potatoes and baked beans, the picnic shows that, though gone, mum and dad have not forgotten about their sons and daughters.

The new scheme has been developed as part of Aston's Family Programme. Parents can have a hamper waiting for their son or daughter when they arrive at their new accommodation. The new students find it comforting and the parents drive home in the knowledge that their children have one thing less to worry about while starting their new life at university.

To help the newcomers further, Aston's Aunties* will be on hand all week to show Freshers around the campus and the city. When parents return home they can sign up to receive a Family Programme newsletter three times a year to make sure they feel involved in university life. The 'Love from Home' parcels, developed in association with Marks & Spencer, are also available throughout the year.

Reaction to the scheme amongst parents has been extremely positive. David and Heather Boosey, whose son will be arriving at Aston to study Internet Systems, said: "Each time children gain more independence and break the ties with family, the elastic seems to snap back hardest at the parents, but this programme will definitely soften the sting. Thank you."

ENDS

For further press information or to arrange interviews/photos with students, please contact Marketing & Communications on 0121 204 4552 or email s.l.hoban@aston.ac.uk

Note to Editors:

*Aston Aunties are male or female students in the second or third year who spend Freshers' Week welcoming and guiding the Freshers around the University and the city.

Freshers' Week at Aston runs from September 28th-October 6th.

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