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Vacation information

Find out about support, services, activities and opening hours over the Christmas break.

The Christmas break

The Christmas break lasts from the end of Michaelmas term (Friday 11th December 2020) until the start of Lent term (Monday 11th January 2021). While many students return home for the break, others arrange to remain on campus. University staff typically continue to work except for the following University closure days: Monday 21st December to Sunday 3rd January (inclusive).

General welfare support

From email and telephone to in-person advice, there are a range of ways to access welfare support during the break. Expand this box to access details.


The COVID-19 phone-line (01524 510105) will stay open every day from 9am-5pm during the closure period, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Over Christmas, you can call this number with any queries or concerns you may have, even if they are not related to COVID-19.

One-to-one support

You can request a call from a member of staff to have a chat, at a time convenient for you. Email or and one of the team will get back to you.

The University Chaplaincy are also offering one-to-one pastoral support throughout the Christmas break by appointment; please email to request to chat to someone.


Contact or Staff are available via email every day from 9am-5pm during the closure period including weekends, but excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

On campus

The Colleges are running a Nine College Drop In Centre, which is open every day from 10 December to 1 January from 10am-5pm in Fylde College (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day), where you can drop in and chat to a member of staff. Find more details under 'More services and outlets' below.


Path on university grounds

COVID-19 support

Some University staff are set to work during the vacation period to continue providing COVID-19 support to students.

Expand this box to find details of how to get in touch.

  • You can continue to use Connect Lancaster to report symptoms, a positive test or to request support. The COVID-19 Student Response team are available every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
  • You can use email inbox to ask questions. It will be monitored every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
  • The COVID-19 phone-line (01524 510105) will operate every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
  • Our Security Reception is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you have an emergency, including over Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, please call 999. If you are on campus you should then immediately contact Security Reception on 01524 594541. You may also dial 999 from any internal telephone line. This will connect you to the Security Reception, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They will call emergency services on your behalf and direct the responder to the correct location.

A dedicated COVID-19 information page is available for staff and students that covers everything from symptoms and self-isolation to how the pandemic affects teaching and facilities. Please visit it for the latest advice.

Students social distancing on bench while wearing masks

Staycation Buddy Scheme

Are you staying in Lancaster over the winter break? If you'd like to connect with others in the same situation and make new friends, then you may want to join the Staycation Buddy Scheme. 


What is it?

The Staycation Buddy Scheme is a peer-to-peer support programme that will bring students together who are remaining in Lancaster over the winter break and help to create what we hope will be vital support and lasting friendships.

How does it work?

We will match you with other students according to your interests and place you in groups of up to four people. You will receive a welcome pack and a dedicated Teams space where you can chat with your friends and ask us any questions that you may have. The rest is up to you. Chat everyday or chat once a week….it is up to your group to find what works best.

Get involved

To find out more and express an interest in joining please visit the Staycation Buddy Scheme form.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch at or call on 01524 510105.

Two students on bench, social distancing, and wearing masks.

What's on

Looking for something to do? Online and in-person events are being planned including wellbeing walks, virtual fitness classes and even a sizzling sausage giveaway.

New event listings and activity suggestions for Christmas will be added to the Campus and Community Life page. 

Campus and Community Life

Opening hours

We're continuing to gather information about opening and operation hours for a wide range of services and facilities.

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More services and outlets


  • Travel

    For the latest updates on travel, please visit the Covid-19 travel information page.

  • Health and emergencies

    Campus Medical Practice and Pharmacy

    Lancaster Medical Practice will be open throughout the Christmas period from 8am–6.30pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays. Patients wishing to contact the University Medical Centre should telephone on 01524 842200. Patients who need medical attention outside our working hours, and during Bank Holidays, should follow the advice below under 'General non-emergency advice' or 'In case of an emergency'.

    Patients should not attend the University Medical Centre during the current Covid-19 pandemic unless they have a pre-booked appointment. This is to ensure the safety of patients and staff. The centre can assist with almost everything by telephone, and where patients do need to be seen, the receptionist or clinician will then advise you as to which Lancaster Medical Practice sites to attend.

    Covid-19 advice

    Student and staff information about Covid-19 including precautions and travel, are contained on the dedicated information page.

    General non-emergency advice

    111 is the NHS non-emergency service. It’s easy and free. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

    In case of an emergency

    If you are on campus and using a mobile phone, call 999, then immediately contact Security Reception on 01524 594541. You may also dial 999 from any internal telephone line. This will connect you to the security reception, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They will call emergency services on your behalf and direct the responder to the correct location.

  • The Base

    The Base is now open 9am-5pm. You can contact the team during this time via phone on 01524 592525, via email at and via online chat. For in person support, please visit the Nine Colleges Office in Fylde College, which is available to all students and will be open 9am-5pm from Mon-Fri. Student ID cards can also be collected from here. The Student Information Hub in Health Innovation One is available for Medical students seeking in-person support from 10am-4pm from Mon-Fri.

  • Mail

    For the latest instructions on mail collection, please visit the mail collection points webpage.

  • Portering and Security

    There will be a reduced portering service in the undergraduate colleges during the vacation period, though porters will remain on duty at Graduate throughout. If you have any problems during the vacation you will need to contact the Security Reception by dialling 01524 594541 (internal 94541). Security staff work shifts to provide a service to campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


  • Sports Centre

    Following the Government’s announcement that Lancashire is entering Tier 4 from midnight 30 December, the Sports Centre will remain closed until further notice.

  • Cleaning

    During the closure period (Monday 21st December to Sunday 3rd January, inclusive) cleaning operations will be limited but arranged around the opening hours of University buildings. There will be no cleaning on the public bank holidays.

    Cleaning packs will be delivered to those who have confirmed they will be staying in their accommodation over the closure period.

  • Colleges

    Drop-in centre

    Staff volunteers will be available to students at the Nine College Drop In Centre over the Christmas period. It is open 9am-5pm from Mon-Fri in Fylde College.

    It is available to all students, from any college, who might like to have some ‘in person’ company and a mince pie, or have a question or a problem they need help with. It is also the place to pick your student ID card. Staff may not have all the answers, but they will be able point you in the right direction and will have access to colleagues working remotely.

    Pool table and board games

    Also in Fylde College, the pool table has been moved from the bar into the common room and will be available for students to use, and board games are available to borrow. Precautions are being taken to ensure use of the table and games is COVID-safe.

  • Student Information Hubs

    The Student Information Hub at Health Innovation One is open for medical students (10-4, Mon-Fri), however the other Student Information Hubs on main campus are currently closed. Students on main campus can access support as follows:

    • In person: Nine Colleges Office will be open 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri in Fylde College; student ID cards can be collected from here
    • Telephone: call the Base on 01524 592525 or coronavirus queries on 01524 510105
    • Email: for general queries or email your department direct
    • Online chat: access via The Base webpage
  • Counselling and Mental Health

    Online mental health support is available 24/7 via Silvercloud or Student Space.

    The Counselling and Mental Health Service is not offering scheduled appointments and drop-ins through the Christmas vacation, but can be contacted by email ( or telephone (01524 592690) from Monday 21 December to Thursday 24 December, and from Monday 28 December to Thursday 31 December 2020. The service will fully reopen on Monday 4 January 2021.

    If you need help in an emergency, please find details of who to contact.

    Other services:

    • Lancashire Care Wellbeing and Mental HealthThe helpline is a listening, information and emotional support service for those concerned about their own mental health, or that of someone they know. Call the free helpline on 0800 915 4640 Monday-Friday 7pm-11pm, Saturday-Sunday 12pm-Midnight.
    • Papyrus. HOPELineUK, run by Papyrus, is a confidential helpline, staffed by trained professionals who give support and advice to young people under the age of 35 feeling suicidal or anyone concerned about a young person. Call them on 0800 0684141 (Monday to Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday to Sunday 2pm-5pm).
  • IT support

    The ISS Service Desk opening times for IT support (weekdays only) are:

    • Monday 14 December - Friday 18 December: Normal weekday opening hours for support via online Help Centre and Chat.
    • Monday 21 December - Friday 1 January: Closed. During the closure period, you can still get online help 24/7 in Answers and can access digital skills training online.
    • Monday 4 January - Friday 8 January: Normal weekday opening hours resume for support via online Help Centre and Chat.

    For access to the above support options, visit the IT help and support page.

    Please note that the Support Desk in the Learning Zone remains closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.