National Care Leavers Week campaign at University Centre Leeds

University Centre Leeds at Leeds City College ran a social media campaign during National Care Leavers Week (24-28 October) that highlighted the vital need for better support for young adults as they transition out of care.

It sought to amplify the voices of its student care leaver community with a series of anonymised case studies that asked young people to share their experiences of moving onto Higher Education (HE), the support they have received at University Centre Leeds, and their advice to other young care leavers.

Below, ‘EW’ shares their thoughts on how they found the move into HE, how care leaving could be improved, and their words of advice for other young care leavers:

“I found the transition into starting full-time higher education at University Centre Leeds very smooth and accommodating. Although I’d struggled to get everything sorted in time to start higher education as a care leaver, when I talked to my tutor and explained my circumstances, I was given the support I needed. Focusing on the now, I’d have to say what I’m most enjoying about my course at University Centre Leeds is the practical aspect of being able to create something using code [computer programming]!

“If I were to say what could be done to improve the care leaving experience for young people, I’d say the thing that would most help other care leavers would be to teach budgeting and cooking skills. Most teenagers probably don’t understand how to budget, or even know how to cook properly, which is something everyone should learn how to do.”

“If I were to give advice to others leaving care, I’d say to make sure to choose to live close to the city centre if you can, because it’s easier being in the heart of an area, instead of having to spend extra of a limited budget on travelling. My other advice for young care leavers in higher education would be to talk to your tutor if something happens or call the Leeds Children’s Rights Advocacy service and they can help immensely.”

Find out more

Full details of the support offered to care-experienced young people at University Centre Leeds can be read here.