Care leavers and estranged students

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Care leavers and estranged students

Support available to you

We're committed to supporting students who;

  • have been in care at any time before starting university
  • are estranged from their immediate family

Please provide details on your accommodation application form. Disclosing if you’re a care leaver allows us to offer advice and support which might include

  • helping you find a suitable place to live throughout the whole calendar year
  • providing you with a dedicated member of staff to help with various aspects of your student life
  • guiding you to relevant support programmes

We know that students with little or no family support could benefit from accessing support within the University and that you often face additional challenges whilst at university. 

For more information please visit our student support pages or email the Priority Groups team at

Get further support

SHU Progress

Applicant support scheme

Rent Guarantor Scheme

Rooms in our allocated halls may require you to have a rent guarantor to complete your booking or that you pay the full annual rent on acceptance of an offer of accommodation.


We understand that this is not always possible, especially for students who are care experience or estranged from their families so we have arranged an optional guarantor extension to our insurance cover specifically for these students which can be purchased and used across university allocated halls of residence for rooms with a rent of up to £5,400 only. 


This option is only available to Care Experienced and Estranged students who are being supported, and referred to the scheme by the University.


For more information about the scheme and the support available if you are care experience or estranged, please email


Important: Before accepting the cover you must read the Policy Wording for full details of the cover, the acceptance criteria and the exclusions which may apply.


Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme

Sheffield Hallam University is proud to be working with the Unite Foundation. The Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme provides a free student bedroom in a purpose built Unite Students building for up to three years of undergraduate study to students aged 25 or under who are estranged from family or care leavers. If you are a looked after child, a care leaver, or if you’re estranged from your family, you may be eligible to apply for the Unite Foundation Scholarship.

Please visit the Unite Foundation website for full details on eligibility and application guidance. The application window for September 2024 closes at 23:59 on 14 June 2024.

Appling for accommodation

If you intend to apply for a Unite Foundation Scholarship, we advise you to select Unite accommodation (Westhill Hall) when you apply for accommodation through the University Accommodation Service. Please ensure that you write “applying to the Unite Scholarship” in the additional notes field of your online accommodation application. This is so that, if you are a successful applicant, you are able to take up the free Unite accommodation offer. Please note that if you apply for and sign a contract with an alternative accommodation provider, you will be liable to meet the terms of that contract.

If you have already applied to live in one of our university allocated halls of residence and are applying for the Unite Foundation Scholarship, we recommend that you contact us so that we can update your application on your behalf.

Further support

Our Priority Groups team helps students to adjust to university life, and provides dedicated support for students who having caring responsibilities, students who have been in the care of a Local Authority, and students who are estranged from family.

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