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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 09:49 GMT
Parents back tsunami fundraising
Robert Rowbottom and Sarah Bent
Miss Bent's parents have met with the students' union
The parents of a student missing following the Asian tsunami are giving their support to her university's fundraising for the aid appeal.

Northumbria University student Sarah Emily Bent, 19, was on holiday with her boyfriend in Thailand.

Students' union president Carys Jones said they had spoken to her parents who want to be involved in the fundraising.

More than 700 of Northumbria's students come from countries affected and it has been working to support them.

Miss Bent had flown to Thailand in December to spend Christmas with her boyfriend Robert William Rowbottom, 21, who recently graduated from Newcastle University.

The families of the pair, from York, said they had not heard from them since Christmas Day.

'Counselling students'

Miss Jones said the students' union had met Miss Bent's parents.

She said: "They would like to be involved in the fundraising that the students' union is doing so we are trying to get them as aware as possible of all the events that we are organising."

The union will donate takings from social events, has buckets around the building and many of its societies are holding events to raise money.

University deputy vice-chancellor Prof Tony Dixon said it had set up the helpline as soon as it became aware of the disaster.

He said: "We have been talking to students, counselling students. We have tried to be flexible about students who wish to go home and refunding their fees and guaranteeing them a place to come back the next year."



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