Opportunity | Details

Care Leavers Wanted



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University of Central Lancashire

Summary: UCLan offers support to all care-experienced students.

Further Details:


The Empower outreach programme – collaborative outreach, working with local authorities and providing training for social workers and foster carers.

For current students

Contextualised admissions including experience of care as a consideration.

Named contact for pre-arrival support and key member of staff assigned during study.

Care-leaver activity integrated into existing outreach programmes such as SUN and Get Ahead.

Care-leaver bursary and bursary for estranged students for £1K a year.

Continue to offer 365-day accommodation with flexible move in dates.

UCLAN sends a gift and card to all care experienced students who turn 21 whilst studying.

Named contact attends graduation and costs of gown hire covered.

Publish and update details of provision on Propel.

Developing support for care experienced students. Implementation to be reviewed by 31 July 2022.

  • UCLan is also developing an Enhanced Engagement programme as part of a volunteer/outreach scheme that is available for all care-experienced and estranged students to opt-in to as part of an engagement programme.
  • Offer care-experience and estranged students support (except the £1000 bursary*) to anyone self-declaring irrespective of age. *If students over the age of 25 are able to evidence that they have experience of care, then financial support could be provided.
  • WP and care-experienced ambassadors complete Black Bullion Budgeting modules and train in how to deliver budgeting sessions to young people (including care-experienced young people).
  • Created a care-experience flag on Dynamics so we can tailor applicant comms.
  • Accommodation packs upon arrival (kitchenware, bedding) for care-experienced and estranged students.
  • Undertake a feasibility study into providing a care-experienced bursary.
  • Toolkit and case studies to help student-facing staff understand experience of students, feedback provided by care-experienced and estranged students.
  • Named advisor to make care-experienced students aware of study coach provision and refer on request.
  • Introduce guaranteed student ambassador interviews for care-experienced students.
  • Students are provided with a £500 graduation bursary to help with costs transitioning to graduate employment or study.
  • Develop and update webpages in relation to support for care experienced and estranged students.

Enhanced Engagement Programme

 In addition to the baseline offer for care-experienced and estranged students, it is proposed here we also have an ‘opt-in’ peer-support and mentoring group. This approach would enhance our delivery on certain recommendations and wholly address:

  • Offering support on arrival day
  • Offering mentoring and peer-assisted learning schemes for current students
  • Asking students to review and improve current provision to ensure a student-focused approach.
  • Post-graduation work experience opportunities

The enhanced engagement programme would aim to have 15-20 care-experienced or estranged student members (around 5 from each undergraduate year group). It will be led by the WP team with input from the Inclusive Support team unless otherwise stated and involved the following:

  • A face to face and online forum providing an informal support network for care-leaver and estranged students
  • The participants advising and providing feedback on University policy and actions
  • Participants committing to be an independent visitor for a young person (under the age of 18) currently being looked after or with experience of care (working in collaboration with external organisations)
  • Organising at least one visit to the campus with their young person and working with the WP team to arrange the activity
  • Automatic interview (also open to all care-leaver and estranged students) for the role of student ambassador and WP ambassador and if successful:
    • First refusal on all care-experienced learner engagement activity shifts
    • First refusal on a proportion of all WP ambassador shifts
    • Shift during enrolment/welcome week to welcome care-experienced and estranged students either with help moving in and/or an orientation of campus. This would support new care-experienced and estranged students in transitioning and provide early signposting to provision from a peer mentor.
  • Guaranteed 3-month internship at the end of their studies within the University and aligned with their career interest. We would aim to engage 5 care-leaver or estranged students per year (years 0-3).

This programme would support:

  • Access: supporting looked after young people with student role models. This part of the programme will be voluntary (i.e. hours are not paid) with the view that the current student will form a mentoring relationship with young person, irrespective of whether the young person pursues university or comes to UCLan.
  • Success: the programme will provide a peer support network. It will also help new students transition through the ‘move-in’ support. The additional availability of paid ambassador work will help alleviate stress around finances. The guarantee of a paid internship at the end of studies will allow participants to concentrate on exams and their studies in the crucial final months of their degree.
  • Progression: the work experience gained through the programme will help students in their future careers. The paid internships will be developed in response to the students’ interests and will be focussed on giving them important experience and develop their portfolios. This will put them in a strong position to join the job market.
  • University continuous improvement: it will provide the university with a focus group of students to help us continuously review, shape and improve our support with the student voice at the heart of our decision making.

A Robust Employment Offer

 UCLan is keen to explore how, within our organisation, we could respond to this aspect of the Covenant. We plan to include this within our review of ED&I which will include key members of staff and we will also link in with the local authority to understand local needs.


 UCLAN will identify contacts within the Local Authority and Care Leaving Teams to promote existing activity to. The university would also be open to conversations about bespoke offerings of support for the local care leaving community.

We are committed to community engagement as a University and have recently been awarded a NCCPE Silver Watermark for public engagement.

We work in collaboration with local authorities and their community engagement teams to respond to local needs. Several colleagues work closely with external partner including Preston City Council to develop the Preston Economic model.

We work collaboratively with the Harris Museum and are working closely with them on their the Harris Your Place project.

We run many outreach activities for young people and families. These include our Saturday Club delivered by Arts and Media colleagues and activities delivered out in youth groups and clubs.

We hold a free annual Lancashire Science Festival with three days of shows, workshops and hands-on activities. The Saturday is our flagship community engagement event and see thousand of visitors on campus. We are trying to increase the proportion of visitors from certain areas of Preston where deprivation is higher and we run a community pass scheme which enables pass-holders to have free meals for children in their group.

Colleagues have written a children’s book about the Science of Superheroes, drawing on interdisciplinary expertise. Free copies have been donated to libraries and hospitals.

Our academic colleagues share their knowledge and expertise with community groups with free activity including law clinics, work with the Citizen Advice Bureau, work with the Lancashire County Council Welfare Rights Support, an Immigration clinic, Pro-Bono Will writing services for prisoners, Family Assisted volunteering, and TESOL sessions for the public.

The Comensus team engage the public to ensure service-user voices inform our teaching and learning.

We have a College Military Veterans and Emergency Services that engage with many external organisations to support military veterans in the community.

We run a regular Community Action Forum where university staff and students along with community organisations and individuals meet to give talks and have discussions on a range of topics.


Next Steps

Interested? Point of contact:

For more details contact Pradeep Passi on his e – mail:

  • ppassi@uclan.ac.uk


  • 01772 893152
Care Leaver Covenant

Any Queries?

If you have further questions or would like any more information, you can contact the Care Leaver Covenant at any time.

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