Our City Cares team provides financial, pastoral, and educational support for students who have spent time in local authority care, from application stage, through to graduation and searching for employment.
We also offer pre-entry advice and guidance through our Widening Participation Outreach team.
"Without the financial and accommodation support that I received from City Cares, I wouldn’t have had a good experience at university. I have really appreciate knowing that there is someone there to support me if I need it” – Olufemi, care-leaver and 2nd year Music Sound and Technology student
What is a care leaver?
The term 'care leaver' refers to a young person under the age of 25 who is currently or has been in public care for a minimum of three months since the age of 14 and on their 16th birthday. You can read the legal definitions of "care leaver" and "looked after" online.
If you don’t meet this definition of a care leaver but have spent time in local authority care and are under 25 at the start of your course, then you can still access support.
The Widening Participation Outreach team offers a range of events and activities for students thinking about university and those who would like support to prepare them for university.
Alongside the Designated Member of Staff (DMS) for care leavers, you can access pre-entry support such as application advice, 1:1 bespoke visit days, Taster Weeks and Pre-Induction events.
To see a comprehensive list of City’s Widening Participation Outreach activities, please download our guide.
For more information, please contact us by emailing email@example.com.
- City Cares Bursary - undergraduate students who meet the eligibility criteria and have disclosed their care leaver status on UCAS will be awarded up to £3,500 each year of their studies for up to three years
- Hardship Fund - students who find themselves in financial hardship can apply for the Hardship Fund. Care-experienced students are eligible for support of up to £1,200
- Emergency Summer Fund - care-experienced students who are struggling financially outside of term time may be eligible for up to £2,000 in additional support. To find out more, you must make an appointment with the DMS for care leavers
- Graduation package - care-experienced students in their final year of undergraduate studies who have completed their studies will be offered a meeting with the DMS as well as an appointment with a careers consultant. Upon attending both appointments, City will help cover the costs of graduation including gown hire, photos and two family/friend tickets.
City Cares helps students transition to university life, provides advice and guidance whilst studying with us and supports students to prepare for life after graduation.
- Academic support - for support with disability, dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs), as well as broader academic skills. Attend workshops and 1:1 sessions to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your studies
- A Designated Member of Staff (DMS) for care leavers is your first point of contact and is here to support you throughout your time at City
- Accommodation - care-experienced students (throughout their undergraduate degree) are prioritised for City’s partner student accommodation provided they have City as their firm choice by the UCAS deadline. We work closely with City’s Accommodation Advisers to ensure students are allocated accommodation that best meets their needs.
- CityBuddies peer mentoring - for first year, undergraduate students to be matched with a second or third year student from the same course (where possible) to help you settle in to student life. Care-experienced students are prioritised for this scheme.
- Professional mentoring - second and third year undergraduate care-experienced students will be guaranteed an interview and given priority for the Professional mentoring scheme; a development opportunity that provides students with a six month mentoring relationship with a person in industry. This is aimed at those with minimum work experience, who would like to build their confidence and feel that they need professional guidance
- Mental health mentoring and counselling - you can be prioritised for accessing counselling services and regular specialist mentoring. The Mental Health team can work collaboratively with the DMS for care leavers to help with your transition to City and offer longer term practical advice and emotional support over the course of your academic studies.
If we don't know you were in care, we can't offer you this extra help.
We recommend that you tick the box on the UCAS form to disclose you have spent time in care to ensure you are contacted about opportunities that might be available to you. If you are a current City student and would like to disclose that you have spent time in care, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registering with City Cares
If you have any questions about the application process, would like to know more about City, University of London, or would like to arrange a visit to campus, please contact us by emailing email@example.com.
If you are unsure about what support you can get from government and local authorities, the following websites are useful resources:
- Buttle UK
- The Catch 22 National Care Advisory Service (NCAS)
- The Care Leavers’ Foundation
- The Care Leavers’ Association
- The Sutton Trust
- Student Finance England