A care leaver’s experience 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, ‘JK’ shares their thoughts on what they are most enjoying about studying at University Centre Leeds, the support they have received as a care leaver, and some words of advice for other young care leavers. Here’s what they had to say:  

“I’d have to say, what I’m most enjoying about studying at University Centre Leeds is the independent study time. I found the transition into starting higher education here quite easy, probably because I can adapt to change quickly. University Centre Leeds know what needs to be done too, if I have any questions.” 

“In terms of the support that the University Centre Leeds offers for care leavers, I know that there’s a bursary scheme which helps provide care leaving students with some funds to get us on our feet, which is good.”  

“If I could offer other young people who are about to leave care and move away some advice, I’d say to try and make memories you’ll never forget. When I moved away from home to go to University Centre Leeds, I spent the last couple of weeks with my friends making amazing memories and I still remember them now.

“For care leavers also starting higher education, I’d say to make sure you read thoroughly around to see whether the university you’re going to has any support for care leavers because it can be a huge benefit.” 

Find out more

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