Our Christmas charities 2021

Posted: 9 Nov 2021 - 11:19


Merry Christmas and a Happy 2022


Many thanks to everyone who's worked with UCAS this year

We never take the support of our customers for granted. As a thank you to you and to help support some amazing projects, we've donated to three charities whose values and missions align with our own. During 2021 our work and research highlighted some key causes students care about and challenges they face, which has helped inform our charity choices this Christmas. 

Based on the responses of clients in our recent survey we've donated £540 to Mind, £400 to Save the Children and £200 to Students Organising for Sustainability UK.

Learn more about these charities and why we're supporting them:



SOS-UK: Students Organising for Sustainability UK


SOS-UK is a student-led charity that focuses on environmental sustainability and works across related issues of justice and wellbeing. Recognising how students and young people can play a leading role in delivering the change we need, they support work and lifelong learning around sustainability in all forms of education, including early years and workplace learning.
Why we're supporting them:

Back in March our Student Lifestyle Report highlighted that sustainability issues really matter to students when it comes to what they spend their money on and the brands they favour:

  • Asked what they think the next big brand trend will be, students' top pick wasn't a specific brand but about their principles: 'any brand that is sustainable or environmentally friendly'.

  • Nearly half of students said they'd decided to not purchase an item they were interested in because of the company's unsustainable production practices.

We're delighted to support a charity working not only for a cause we know students care deeply about, but that is actually led by students themselves.


“UCAS’ Christmas donation to SOS-UK will help us progress our work to get more students leading on and learning for sustainability. We’re so grateful for the donation to support our student engagement and education reform work, which is critical to achieving societal change for climate justice. Thank you UCAS and Merry Christmas!”

– Meg Baker, Director of Education at SOS-UK

Learn more: www.sos-uk.org





Mind offers guidance and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem and are determined that those experiencing issues get support and respect. They campaign for better services, to improve awareness and raise understanding, helping hundreds of thousands of people who struggle with mental health issues every year.
Why we're supporting them:

In June our report, 'Starting the Conversation', revealed there has been a big shift in students' willingness to talk about their mental health over the last decade, but there's still much to do to remove the stigma:

  • The number of UK applicants to UCAS that shared a mental health condition has increased by 450% since 2011.
  • Nearly half of the students with an existing mental health condition entering higher education in 2020 chose not to share this information with their university or college.

With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem every year, it's fantastic to support an organisation that makes such a difference to so many of us.


“We want to say a big thank you to UCAS for their generous Christmas donation.

We know that waiting lists are far too long. People are pushed into poverty because of their mental health. The mental health system is failing racialised communities. And a generation of young people are dealing with anxiety, trauma and self-harm. Thanks to UCAS’ generous donation, we can help change this. We can offer more mental health support for people living in poverty – increasing workplace support for people in low-paid jobs and campaigning for welfare changes so people are treated fairly.

We can target the injustices in the mental health system to remove shameful differences in service access and outcomes for people from racialised communities. We can join with whole school communities – from parents to pupils to teachers – and make sure young people are able to easily access support when they need it. Thanks to UCAS’ support, we can continue to fight to make sure help is there.” 

–  Katie Baulch, Community Fundraising Officer at Mind

Learn more: www.mind.org.uk



Save the Children


Save the Children knows that learning is key to opening up so many possibilities, but in the UK and overseas there are many things that can get in the way of children's education. They work to keep children learning whatever their circumstances, including trying to improve early years learning and highlighting issues around childcare costs.
Why we're supporting them:

Our October application data showed more disadvantaged students applied to the most selective universities and courses (which have the early, Oct 15 deadline) this year, but the numbers are still far behind those applying from advantaged backgrounds:

  • 3,030 of the most disadvantaged students (POLAR4 quintile 1) applied, up 8% from 2,800 last year.
  • 17,570 of the most advantaged (POLAR4 quintile 5) applied, up 1% from 17,410 last year.

We know early education is vital to raising ambitions and improving outcomes in later life, so we wanted to support a charity that really helps children to discover and develop their love of learning whatever adversities they face.


Learn more: www.savethechildren.org.uk


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