Collaborating to raise awareness and increase support during Estranged Student Solidarity Week

Go Higher West Yorkshire is participating in Estranged Student Solidarity Week (ESSW) for a second year, which in 2019 runs 25-29 November. We are using a delegated campaign model, providing various refreshed materials for partners to adapt and use on their own campuses and social media during ESSW and beyond.

Since the launch of the Stand Alone Pledge and Estranged Student Solidarity Week a couple of years ago, awareness of students studying without family support appears to be growing exponentially. In 2018 GHWY championed this cause by joining with Stand Alone to facilitate the following collaborative endeavours:

  • A collaborative Stand Alone Pledge, supporting all 13 partners to develop a pledge at their institution
  • Facilitating partners’ initial involvement in Estranged Students Solidarity Week in 2018, developing awareness-raising materials for partners to use and encouraging events on campus
  • A good practice sharing event focused on the impact of estrangement and associated support needs

Materials provided to partners this year have been as follows:

  • A3 posters to raise student awareness for use all year round
  • A5 postcards to raise staff awareness for use all year round
  • A landscape screen-friendly version of the poster *new*
  • Template Twitter (for staff) and Instagram (for students) graphics and text for use specifically during ESSW *new*

ESSW is also a great time to hold activities and events to engage with estranged students, raise awareness of their challenges and celebrate their resilience. Here is a snapshot of some of the activity taking place across the partnership:

  • University of Leeds has held a student-led panel and information session for staff members across all levels of the university, providing an opportunity for estranged students to voice their concerns, suggestions, and experiences.  The same students are also holding a drop-in for other students as well as working with the Student Union to publicise ESSW.
  • Leeds Arts University Student Union has held a ‘free breakfast session’ for estranged students to find out more information about the support available to them.

GHWY wishes every partner a successful campaign and hopes it raises awareness and supports the identification of estranged students as intended.