The University received the Stand Alone Pledge Award 2020 which recognises the overall institutional support for estranged students during Covid-19 and the personal commitment of individual staff members and teams.
Sheffield Hallam has approximately 300 students studying at the University who have identified themselves as estranged from their families.
The University offers a variety of financial, emotional and practical support for students with care experience or who are not in contact with their families.
This support includes:
- Supplying them with the equipment they needed to study at home.
- Providing food vouchers as well as extra money for those suffering financial hardship.
- A transition fund to final year students to help bridge the gap between university and paid employment.
- A named University contact for care experienced or estranged students to book appointments to talk about their wellbeing and any specific challenges they are facing.
- Extra consideration taken on assessment and grading processes.
- Working with accommodation providers to establish flexible payment options and year-round accommodation.
The University also provides significant support to care leavers and young people estranged from their families before they arrive at university, helping them through the application process through the SHU Progress programme.
Last year, SHU Progress supported 17 estranged students nominated by a professional to apply for and start their university life.
"This award is a reflection of the commitment the University has made to its care leaver and estranged students"
Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, said: “This has been an incredibly challenging year for all our students, and for students who don’t have that family support many of us take for granted those challenges have been even more profound.
“This award is a reflection of the commitment the University has made to its care leaver and estranged students, not only during the pandemic, but throughout their university life to support them to achieve their full potential.
“We will continue to improve the support that we offer to estranged students and develop our understanding of the unique challenges they face to ensure they can thrive during their time at Sheffield Hallam.”
The University signed up to the Stand Alone pledge in 2016, which offered a commitment from the University to continue to improve its support for estranged and care experienced students.