Care Leaver Support
A big welcome to the care leaver pages of our website!
Rachel Levy will support you once your degree has started.
Before coming to university:
We can answer any queries you have about the university, and can also make arrangements for you to visit if you would like to have a look around before term starts.
We will contact all students who have ticked the Care Leaver box on their UCAS form informing them of the support available. The university will only share this information with those who need to be informed, e.g. the member of staff who supports care leavers post-registration.
You can request a meeting with the care leaver support staff and your Personal Advisor before you start at the university, or at any time during your degree, to ensure you are receiving all the support that would be helpful for you.
Registration and Moving into your Accommodation
Welcome Weekend takes place on the first weekend before term starts. During this weekend, you will formally register as a new student at the university, and you will move into your campus accommodation.
The first week you are here is just for new first year students and offers you the chance to get to know your new environment and the services provided at the university; you will also have introductory meetings in your Academic School. It is an opportunity to start to settle in and get to know your housemates and others
Welcome Fair takes place during this week. This is where the different university societies showcase what they offer and encourage new students to sign up. It is important to balance academic work with some fun activities so it is worth having a look round to see what interests you.
Support for Care Leavers once you have registered
We have a dedicated member of staff in our Wellbeing Team whose role is to provide both practical and emotional support to all care leaver students. She can help you with any questions you might have about any aspect of being at university including:
- Emotional Wellbeing
- Financial Support
- Learning Support
The member of staff for care leavers can make contact with your PA on your behalf if you would like them to, and they can also attend meetings with you and your PA if they visit you at the university.
Although coming to university can be an exciting time, it can also be quite a challenging time for many students, so it is really important to look after your emotional wellbeing and to seek support if you feel that you are struggling.
While at university:
Student Support & Wellbeing
This service provides support to students in the following areas:
- Mental Health
- Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Physical Disability
- Medical conditions
Advisers can write support plans for students and be a bridge between the student and their Academic School. They also provide advice about other possible support such as study skills and mentoring.
University Medical Centre & Nursing Service
Most students register with the local medical centre, which is just at the edge of the campus. We also have a 24-hour nursing service during term time.
Student Learning and Advisory Service
This service provides individual and group support for those needing guidance to study at higher education level. They help with a variety of topics such as essay writing, referencing and revision skills.
Student Union Advice Centre
The Student Union at Medway and Canterbury has an Advice Centre that can offer you free, confidential, and impartial advice in a wide range of areas like funding, housing, academic concerns, immigration, budgeting, financial hardship, and many more.
Visit the Kent Union website: kentunion.co.uk (Canterbury) or the GK Unions website: gkunions.co.uk (Medway) for full details on the advice provided and how to access the services.
The Student Union will also offer a wide range of other services/support whether it be representation, volunteering, sports & societies, licensed trade outlets, etc. To understand how to engage with the Student Union please visit the above websites for further details.
Accommodation'if you would like to live in university accommodation for each year of your degree, then you will be able to do so. You can also stay on campus throughout the year, including the holiday periods. You will need to sign up to vacation accommodation in May to make sure that you secure the extended accommodation for the summer holidays.
If your off campus accommodation provider requires a Rent Guarantor, then you should contact your Personal Adviser to see if the local authority can provide this for you, or there is also a scheme at the university.
We offer a ‘care leaver package’ to all new care leaver students in their first year at Kent - this is a one off cash bursary to spend on whatever you choose.
You should also be entitled to the Kent Financial Support Package – the amount is subject to change but is usually between £1,000 and £2,000 each academic year. It is paid in two instalments, one in December and one in March.
We also may be able to provide loans and grants if you are experiencing financial hardship. There is an emergency loan system in place if there is a delay in you receiving your Student Finance funding, and an emergency loan system if you find yourself in short term financial difficulty. Please be aware that conditions apply to both of these types of loans.
You may also be able to apply to the Access to Learning Fund if you are suffering more long-term financial hardship. This discretionary fund is paid via a grant (non-repayable) to students who meet the eligibility criteria and can show financial hardship.
Student Finance England Funding
There are costs associated with attending university whether it be paying tuition fees, rent, living costs, course costs, or travel costs. Most students apply to Student Finance England for help with these costs via a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan (grants may be available if you have a disability, adult dependent, or a child).
It is best to apply for Student Finance England funding as early as is reasonably possible as they get very busy in the peak periods (August onwards) and you may find your funding isn’t in place before the start of the academic year if you leave it too late. If you require help with making the application or in receiving your funding, you can contact your Student Union Advice Centre for assistance.
Any loan you borrow from Student Finance England is repayable but only when you have graduated and are earning a certain income. You will normally be charged interest on the amount you borrow. We would suggest you visit the Student Loan Company’s website for further details on how the repayment structure works.
You will also be eligible for a Higher Education Bursary from your Local Authority, as well as other financial support. The amount paid differs according to which Local Authority you have been looked after by, but your Social Worker or Personal Adviser will be able to give you more details.
If you are able to, you may find that you need to work part time to supplement your income. The Student Union offers a Job Shop that you can register with to try to help you find employment and be aware of what opportunities are available.
We may be able to help with graduation costs. You should be contacted directly regarding this near to graduation.
If you are under 25 years old, you should still be able to receive support from your Local Authority, contact your Personal Advisor who should be able to help you further in this area.
The majority of the Careers & Employability services are available within 3 years of graduation. You are encouraged to register on Target Connect to ensure your entitlement.