Care leavers support package

The University of Chester offers extra support for students who have been in care. To qualify you need to have been in Local Authority Care as a young person for at least three months. You are deemed to be a care leaver once you are 16.

Care leavers support package

The University of Chester is committed to providing support for those leaving care who want to go on to higher education. We provide a support package which we hope will help students to settle in, focus on their studies while they are with us and graduate successfully. 

If you have been in care and are interested in going to university you are deemed a care leaver until you are 25. This means that if you have been in care you can benefit from all of the support arrangements below at any time until you reach the age of 25. If and when you do come to study at the University of Chester you remain entitled to the support until the completion of your course.

This package has been designed for care leavers whose permanent residence is in the United Kingdom and who are 'home' students for fee purposes. Applicants who are care leavers but not 'home' students are welcome to contact our Student Welfare Office to discuss any support needs they may have.

Thinking about going to University?

A university degree will develop your knowledge and skills and opens doors to new places. The University of Chester offers a range of subjects, great support services and the opportunity to live independently while enjoying a good social life in a vibrant city.

What support is available for care leavers at the University of Chester?

The University of Chester has put some specific things in place to support care leavers. You can declare on your UCAS application form that you have been in care, or your social services team can let us know that you are a care leaver. This means that we can make sure this support is in place when you start.

We are able to provide support at every stage of your university experience and can ease the burden on you so you can concentrate on your studies. This includes help before, during and after you are a student with us. 

In addition to the support package offered by your Local Authority we offer:

 

Pre Entry and Admissions Support

Assistance with your application to the University

If you would like support with the application process, experienced University staff can help you to complete your UCAS form. In some cases, an interview with the department will be required. If you have to attend an interview, we can arrange for a member of staff to help you prepare.

How to apply

You need to indicate on your UCAS form that you have been in local authority care. After you have done this and submitted your form, there are steps that your application will go through to make sure that you receive the advice and support that you need.

The University will consider applications from care leavers on an individual basis. The level of offer may be based on individual circumstances. Applicants must apply by UCAS deadlines. Late applicants will receive consideration where vacancies still exist. 

Care Leavers Support Meeting

After you are offered a place at the University of Chester, we will offer you the opportunity of a support meeting which we will arrange before you arrive to help you with the transition to university life. The meeting can include you, your personal adviser, the University's point of contact for care leavers (Martina Ferrari), representative from the University's Accommodation Office and a representative from the academic department you will be joining. During this meeting we will be able to establish how much financial support is available to you, the type of accommodation you would prefer and, where appropriate, make provision for any additional support you may need e.g. for a disability or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia.

Money Management and Budgeting

As a student you are likely to receive some relatively large sums of money in one go and in order to survive University life you'll need to manage them carefully as they have to last you through each term. 

This may be the first time you have had to handle such large amounts of money and to help you do this successfully we have dedicated staff on hand to provide advice and guidance on budgeting and making sensible choices. 

We offer a range of money management and budget planning workshops which we can also deliver on a one-to-one basis. Please visit Student Welfare Money Matters for further information.

 

Support Whilst Studying

While you are a student at the University of Chester, a full range of support will be available to help you to make the most of your studies and achieve your full potential. These include a Counselling Service, Disability Support, University Chaplaincy, Computing and Library facilities, and a Learning Support Service to help with all aspects of your study skills needs.

In preparing you for the world of work following graduation, our Careers and Employability service provide a wide range of workshops and events to help you develop and achieve your career goals.

 

All year round accommodation

First Year students

The University can offer a 40 week academic year contract for University owned accommodation to all care leaver students who indicate the University of Chester as being their first choice. In addition to this, the University are also able to offer a 12 week summer accommodation to allow for 365-day accommodation for care leavers. 

For those care leavers who have the University of Chester as an insurance choice or students coming through the clearing system, the Accommodation Office will try to place students in appropriate University accommodation, however where this is not possible, support and advice will be given to secure the most appropriate private sector accommodation. For more information you can visit the Accommodation Office.

Returning students

The University Accommodation Office will help and advise students to obtain 365 day accommodation in the private sector accommodation market. The University are able to offer 12 week summer accommodation.

A named contact to support you with all aspects of your University life

If you have any issues or concerns which you may be facing prior to arriving at University and during your time at Chester, we have a member of staff who is our named contact for care leavers. Martina Ferrari, based in Student Welfare is on hand to help with all aspects of your University life. Martina will treat any questions you have confidentially and will only refer to other departments or agencies internally and externally with your permission. You can contact Martina through the Student Welfare contact details on the right.

Assistance with applying for financial support

Care Leavers are entitled to easy access to financial help and guidance.  Priority will be given to care leavers when applying to the University's Financial Assistance Fund. Martina Ferrari will help you to apply for this.

Support with childcare while you study

If you have children who need childcare, grants are available to undergraduate students to help with childcare costs. How much you get will depend on your circumstances. For further information regarding childcare, please visit the Childcare web page.

Support into employment or further study

The University of Chester's Careers and Employability team knows and understands how important finding a job can be for all students and recognises the additional pressures that those coming from care may experience. We aim to support all our students to find relevant work experience through part time jobs, short term placements and work shadowing. We also provide information, advice and guidance with career planning and aim to support all students with their employability and help ease the progression into graduate employment or further study.