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News article

Support for students and staff affected by the situation in Israel and Gaza

Published: 26 January 2024

  •   Community
Front entrance of York St John with a pathway flanked by lavender bushes

Our University community is deeply saddened by the ongoing conflict and loss of life in the Middle East. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families, friends, and loved ones affected.

At York St John, we value our inclusive community, and believe that every student has the right to pursue their studies without fear or harassment. Our support is available to anyone who is distressed or affected by these ongoing events.

  • A free, dedicated 24/7 helpline, providing mental health support for any students impacted by events in the Middle East 
    0800 783 8390
  • Appointments with our Wellbeing Team for which students can self-refer online
  • Our Wellbeing Open Afternoons taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12pm to 2.50pm at the Holgate Information Services Desk on our York campus

Students and staff, of all faiths and none, can also talk to our Chaplaincy team, and are welcome to light a candle for peace, to pray for peace, or to have some space for reflection, in our Chapel.

Any colleagues affected can speak to their line manager or access support though our Employee Assistance Programme (hosted on our intranet) which is available 24/7.

If you are worried about family and friends in Israel or Gaza we recommend getting in contact with the British Embassy in Israel, the Palestine Mission to the UK, or Foreign Office for more information and updates.

There are a number of charities providing humanitarian relief in both Israel and Gaza including:

Respectful language 

It is hard to find words in response to the violence and loss of life in Gaza and Israel. Whilst we share our deep sympathy with those affected by the conflict, please remember that words can hurt, sometimes in ways we can't imagine for ourselves. Please continue to be kind, be mindful of the views of others and use respectful language.  

Additional support on reporting antisemitism and Islamophobia 

If you experience antisemitism or Islamophobia at University, please use our Report and Support platform to tell someone either anonymously, or with contact details.  

The Community Security Trust (CST) has published a number of resources on their social media feeds, including guidance on how to communicate about Israel in a non-antisemitic way. CST also has a national emergency number which can be used to report antisemitic attacks: 0800 032 3263.  

Tell Mama is a confidential support service for those suffering from anti-Muslim hate and discrimination across the UK. Their website features a number of different ways to report anti-Muslim incidents, including via phone or WhatsApp.  

We ask that all of our community continue to show compassion and kindness for one another and encourage anyone who has been impacted to reach out for support.


Contact us

Communications team

York St John University, Lord Mayors Walk, York, YO31 7EX

01904 876 466

To contact us out of hours, phone 07812 365 499