Support for students with care experience.

Pre-entry support

Students who have experience of Local Authority care or are estranged from their family may experience significant barriers to their education and subsequent progression to Higher Education. At Edge Hill, we want to support care-experienced and estranged students to access and succeed within higher education, and we offer students a variety of support both pre-entry and whilst studying on-course in order to help with this. Our dedicated pre-entry point of contact in the Widening Access and Participation team can offer bespoke information and advice on accessing Higher Education.

On-course student support

After students have started at Edge Hill University, they may also wish to access guidance and support from our on-course contact in Student Services. The dedicated member of staff can help students to make the most of their time at University and complete their course successfully. Furthermore, within the careers team, students can also talk to a dedicated team member about their career aspirations, finding part-time work or experience, or any potential barriers or concerns they may have regarding employment.

Finance and accommodation support

Eligible students may also be able to access an annual bursary of £1000 for up to a maximum of three years whilst studying at Edge Hill and may also be able to access further funding from our Student Support fund.

Students can also apply for a grant of up to £2000 from our Student Opportunity Fund to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich their student experience and enable them to stand out in a competitive environment.

Care-experienced and estranged students studying at Edge Hill University may also be able to access a room in the University Halls of Residence for 365 days a year, for the three years of their degree course. If students do not wish to live in halls of residence on-campus, the Accommodation Team can also provide support in helping students to search for accommodation both during term time and the vacation period.

Support for students who are estranged:

We signed the Stand Alone Pledge in February 2021 as our public commitment to supporting estranged students through their higher education journey, and remain committed to supporting this student group.

We continue to be committed to delivering the activity in our original Pledge and have advanced many of the commitments we made. We are proud to have been a partner of Stand Alone, and are delighted to be committing to the below as our Stand Alone Legacy Pledge:

Accessing University

  • We have a named contact for students who identify as estranged, for support on researching and applying for higher education and student finance.
  • We offer one to one or small group support to students for Personal Statements, interview, and application form preparation.
  • We offer bespoke visits to our campus, to meet current students and support staff to provide more detailed information about our on-course offer.
  • At Our Open Day and Offer Holder Days, we have a dedicated stand for students from various underrepresented groups, including estranged students, to receive bespoke advice and guidance. 
  • We are available to speak to students on exam results day and post results day to discuss next steps.
  • We work with our partners to deliver an annual Continuous Professional Development Conference for colleagues working with Care Experienced and Estranged students.
  • We communicate the support available to estranged students via our work with schools, colleges, community organisations, external partners and on our website.

On course support

  • We have a named contact for students who identify as estranged, who students can contact for advice, guidance and support when on course.
  • We offer a place on our pre-induction Thrive Programme to our estranged students, this includes access to a range of bespoke events, funded career enhancing opportunities, social events, and the option of having a 1:1 coach for the first year of your degree.
  • We offer a calendar of tailored care experienced and estranged student events throughout the year including crafting, social meet ups, board games, awareness raising events (for example around Care Day, Estranged Student Solidarity Week etc).
  • We deliver Christmas Hampers to all care experienced and estranged students on campus, we support those off-campus with a Christmas voucher. 
  • We have an established Student Advisory Panel initiative, whereby students contribute to the design and delivery of key University services. The Panel includes students who identify as estranged, and we actively promote this paid opportunity to this student group.
  • We actively promote and offer a guaranteed interview to estranged students for our paid Student Guide Opportunity.
  • We have worked with our Student Union to establish a Care Experienced and Estranged Students Union Society.
  • We have a dedicated employment advisor in our Careers team to support students from underrepresented backgrounds with their future career, by offering longer appointments and bespoke events throughout the year.
  • Estranged students can request a contract for a room in the University halls of residence for 365 days a year, for the three years of their degree.
  • Estranged students can request an early move into halls and midweek move in dates.
  •  Estranged students can access the discretionary fund for financial support (our Student Support Fund) if needed over the summer period for food, travel and accommodation.

Additional support

  • We have developed a ‘supporting staff to support students’ toolkit in collaboration with our students, to help staff across the university best support care leavers, care experienced and estranged students.
  • All students at the University have access to a wide range of student support services, including but not limited to Well-Being and Counselling, Money Advice, Learning Services, Inclusion and Student Life.

Further enhancements

  • We are committed to continuing to reflect, respond and develop our offer for estranged students in response to student feedback, evaluation data, and effective practice.
  • We will continue to work with our partners NNECL and the Care Leaver Covenant when developing support for care leaver and care experienced students, and pledge to reflect upon the needs of our estranged students in conversations with these partners.

Our partnerships and pledges

We work with a number of organisations to help us extend and enhance our work with care-experienced and estranged students and have been recognised for our work in supporting these students to access and succeed in Higher Education. Find out more about the organisations we work with:

Care Leaver Covenant

The Stand Alone Legacy Pledge

We also hold the NNECL Quality Mark

For further information and support, please contact the Widening Access and Participation Team by emailing: [email protected]

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