Tackling isolation & promoting international friendships by bringing together students and local volunteer hosts

HOST UK (Hosting for Overseas Students) is a charity that arranges for students from all over the world studying at UK universities to meet and stay at the homes of local volunteers for 2 or 3 nights. Not only do these visits create relationships between two beneficiaries who may never have otherwise crossed paths, it also allows both parties to overcome loneliness and gain new knowledge about other cultures and sometimes build lifelong friendships.

HOST has already made contact with a number of groups who work with older people, such as The Age of No Retirement, to establish links with those who wish to do more in their older age. HOST has been running for around 30 years and has facilitated tens of thousands of successful visits. Positive impact can be best described by those who have benefitted:

  • “I am not young, my house is small, I do not drive at the moment, but these things seemed not to matter. Hosting was so worthwhile.”
  • “Being a host has enriched my life beyond measure. I have made friends with young people and often parents, too, from many different cultures and beliefs.”

David Hunter and his wife have been hosting for over 25 years. He’s still in touch with many of his previous student guests, welcoming them back and visiting them around the world in places like China and Vietnam. He’s even been to 3 weddings including one in Hong Kong. Sometimes students came with their own kids – and these kids are now returning as grown-ups to visit him. And his own kids who are also grown up are visiting former guests in their far-flung home countries and get on well with current students as they’re of a similar age. e.g. going clubbing together! David also gives talks about HOST at university induction days.

Contact: Ruth Kearns – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; 02077396292

@Official_HOSTUK

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