Supporting care leavers fulfil their potential
The pandemic has had a huge impact on our students, but for those who grew up in care, financial instability and isolation following the outbreak was the tipping point. Unlike students who could rely on their parents and went back home to isolate with their families, carer levers faced the loss of part-time jobs overnight, with no family to depend on.
PGCE early years student Olivia is one of the care leavers who didn’t have any family guiding her through this challenging time. Olivia said; ‘It’s difficult to do most things in life without support from family or friends. Being a care leaver, I often found myself struggling to do basic things without a support network. During Covid, things were really put into a sharp focus. The thing that made me feel most alone was not having anybody check in on me. Often, the only contact I would have would be from the university.’
On top of struggling to pay her rent and make ends meet, Olivia had no access to a laptop and as she could no longer use public transport, needed to find the money to pay for taxis to continue her placement at a school.
Fortunately, Olivia received the support she needed from the University’s student support team and was awarded a hardship payment that alleviated some of her financial pressures so she could focus on achieving her full potential as a trainee teacher. Olivia said; ‘Receiving the funding was a massive help. The funding meant that I didn’t fall behind on rent, I could afford to get to placement and because I wasn’t stressed and worried about money problems I could focus on my training. I was also able to buy a laptop which I would have otherwise had to use a credit card to buy putting myself into debt. It made everything so much easier.’
None of this would have been possible without the help of our compassionate donor community. Thanks to you, Olivia can continue to work hard in achieving her dream of becoming a teacher at an international school supporting the next generation of ambitious young people.