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Supporting and shaping the futures of students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds

Can you imagine what it would be like to not have a home to return to throughout summer and have no family to turn to for help? Or how you might cope with the physical and emotional strain of being your loved one's full time carer, alongside studying and working a part time job?

This is the reality for many of our students from care backgrounds or who are estranged from their families, and young carers who provide unpaid support to relatives.

Here are the facts

  • 3-6% of the student population are carers. Being a carer actually makes you twice as likely to develop a disability or long term illness. It's a difficult job, made all the more challenging as student carers do not receive a Carer's Allowance when in full time education
  • Only 6% of care leavers go on to university. They may have had periods of instability in their home and school lives that have made the journey to university challenging and had to cope with living independently from an early age
  • 1 in 5 families in the UK are affected by estrangement. Estranged students may not be able to call on the practical, emotional and financial support from family that other students have available to them.  They are three times more likely to leave university before the end of their degree programme than the average student. Finance, or lack of finance, is a key factor in making this decision

Students in these circumstances come to university with the same hopes and excitement as other students. Your financial support will help ensure family breakdown does not act as a barrier to education, opportunity and success.

Steven Hawksworth is in his third year studying for a degree in education studies and receives the Care Leavers Bursary. He was seven when he went into care after his mum was unable to cope with four children.

Steven said: 'I applied to Hallam because I wanted to do better for myself. I knew that if I didn't go to university, I'd have nothing. The prospect of getting a degree was a lifeline for me. If I didn't have the bursary I would have had to drop out, as I can't afford to do more hours at work as well as study.'

Steven Hawksworth

You can give students the security and recognition to make the most of what university can offer, regardless of their personal circumstances.

We must not forget that not all students come to university with the same experiences and not all can draw on the same resources from their families. We are committed to closing the gaps in education to give all students who want to improve their lives through higher education the support they need to achieve.

  • Who will your donation support?

    Bursaries are prioritised for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups to ensure every student has a fair opportunity to succeed.

    This includes students from the lowest household income brackets in deprived areas of the UK (particularly in the Sheffield City Region), students who are leaving care, students who have caring responsibilities, students who are estranged from their family, and those facing homelessness.

    Our commitment to providing fair opportunities for all means that we also support students with disabilities.

  • What impact will your donation have?

    By donating to the Hallam Fund, you will provide crucial emergency funding to cover accommodation costs, living expenses and one-off grants to allow disadvantaged students to spend more time on their studies without the worry of additional financial burden.

    You can help give students the support to progress through their studies, providing a better chance of success and realising personal ambitions and aspirations.

  • Why Sheffield Hallam?

    Sheffield Hallam has an outstanding record of widening access to higher education.

    Sheffield Hallam's mission is simple: we transform lives. With over 96% of our undergraduate students from state schools and 41% of undergraduates from the lowest income households, we need to increase the scope of what Sheffield Hallam is able to provide for those who need it most.

    We are one of the first universities in the UK to sign the Care Leavers Covenant, which demonstrates our commitment to support young people who have experienced the care system and sets out our duty of care to those students. We have also pledged our support to estranged students through the Stand Alone Pledge, which covers all aspects of their university experience.

    Your help can ensure each student who comes to us to change their life is given the support they need to succeed.

  • How you can help

    You can transform lives by donating to the Hallam Fund here.

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