Support for Care Leavers

Falmouth University has been awarded the Buttle UK quality mark for care leavers

Falmouth is committed to supporting students who are care leavers and we have been awarded the Buttle UK Quality Mark for our work.

We are committed to offering as much or as little support as is needed and have many ways that we can help.

People who can help

Jane Atkinson
Care Leavers' Coordinator
Tel: 01326 213746
Email: jane.atkinson@falmouth.ac.uk

Will Wears
Bursaries Adviser
Tel: 01326 213744
Email: will.wears@falmouth.ac.uk

Hannah Partington
Widening Participation Officer
Tel: 01326 213764
Email: hannah.partington@falmouth.ac.uk

Michelle Lewis
Living Support Officer
Tel: 01326 370460
Email: michelle.lewis@fxplus.ac.uk

Richard Wilkins
Private Sector Accommodation Liaison Officer
Tel: 01326 253741
Email: richard.wilkins@fxplus.ac.uk

Suzy, Stephanie and Maureen
FXU Students' Union
Tel: 01326 255861
Email: advice@fxu.org.uk

Richard Pearson
FXU Welfare Officer
Email: presidentwelfare@fxu.org.uk

Accommodation

The University offers support with accommodation and can help you to secure 365-day-a-year accommodation in campus halls of residence or in the private sector. Please call the Accommodation Office on 01326 253639 explaining your situation and they will do all they can to help.

Help and advice

We also offer help and advice in dealing with your local authority, social services, and any other outside agencies you are in contact with.

The money

Most local authorities support their care leavers through financial support for accommodation and travel costs to and from the University on a daily basis. Some provide for books and equipment, such as a laptop and other essentials. You will need to find out from either your leaving care team, case worker, Connexions adviser, or other contact within the local authority in which you were in care.

An example would be Cornwall Council who offer:

Local authority

  • £2,000 a year plus money for equipment, ie laptop
  • Money for travel to and from interviews
  • Pay your UCAS application fee
  • £1,500 course costs
  • Other local initiatives run by the council, ie Fab16+ grant for books (£250)

Falmouth University

  • £2,000 a year National Scholarship Award
  • £1,000 a year Care Leaver's Bursary
  • Up to £250 Access to Learning Fund (discretionary)

Buttle UK

You can apply in person to Buttle UK for an education grant (discretionary)

Falmouth has a bursary available to care leaver students, so please make sure you tick and sign the bursary consent statement in Section 13 of your PN1 Local Authority Student Finance Application Pack. If you have not done this, or your case is more complex, such as estrangement or if you are an asylum seeker, then please contact our bursary adviser, Will Wears on 01326 213744, or our widening participation officer, Hannah Partington on 01326 213764 for an informal chat.

There are also other awards and bursaries that you may be entitled to, such as the National Scholarship Award and the Cornwall Award, so please do take the time to speak to the bursaries team.

Student loan

The majority of local authorities will pay for living costs and course fees. However, if they do not, there is also the non-repayable maintenance grant, the tuition fee loan, as well as your student loan (available from Student Finance England to all students), accessed by filling in your PN1 Local Education Authority Student Finance Application Pack. Most local authorities will pay for UCAS application fees and travel to and from interview.

All of this means that financial support from your local authority can continue until you are 24 years old, providing you embarked on a course of study at college prior to the age of 21. This and further topics about Higher Education are usually discussed and agreed with your service manager/leaving care team when devising your Pathway Plan.

When applying for any student finance, please ensure that you read all of the forms carefully and tick all of the relevant boxes. If you need any support, please contact our Student Union financial advisor on 01326 213742 or 01326 211460, or our bursary officer, Will Wears on 01326 213744. Remember, all the information you give is confidential and is only seen by the people trying to help you get the maximum finance available.

However, if you have started at Falmouth University and are having financial problems you can apply to the Access to Learning Fund (ALF). This is a non-repayable grant to help students who face severe financial problems, or higher costs than expected, during their course. Application forms can be collected from Student Support Services or the FXU. Contact Student Support Services on 01326 213735.

The Boot Up! project for children in care and care leavers

Jane Atkinson is our designated children in care and care leavers coordinator. Jane looks out for those care leavers or other bursary recipients who are experiencing problems with accessing the correct funds, or need any other kind of pastoral help, support or advice. Jane runs drop-in sessions over a coffee at The Compass on our Penryn Campus and in the Woodlane Bar on our Falmouth campus, so please contact her on 01326 213746 or email jane.atkinson@falmouth.ac.uk if you need any moral or practical support.

Student Support Services also have a designated person to help with any issues you may have, so please call Michelle Lewis on 01326 253633.

Falmouth also runs Boot Up!, a bespoke outreach project specifically for children in care in local schools. This is an outdoor education project that focuses on learning and nurture through nature. We do gardening, woodcraft, whittling, building and construction, and have fires. The project is run along the lines of a forest school and is on a Tuesday and Wednesday through term time.

Recipients of the bursary are welcomed to work as student ambassadors on this project and can be paid an hourly rate.

For more information, please contact Jane Atkinson or visit boot-up.blogspot.com