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Eligibility for care leavers

This page explains more about the support that you can receive from UWE Cares if you’re a care leaver.

UWE Cares pastoral support

If you’ve lived in foster care or supported housing and not returned to live with your parents, you’re eligible to access the UWE Cares pastoral support package. This includes a designated point of contact for queries, help to access other services like health and wellbeing, careers and study support, social events, drop-ins and our monthly newsletter.

UWE Cares Bursary and 365-day accommodation guarantee

You may be eligible for financial and accommodation support if:

  • you’ve been in the care of or been given accommodation by the local authority (council) for at least 12 weeks between ages of 11 and 16, or
  • you’ve lived in local authority (council) supported housing between ages 16 and 18
  • you haven’t returned to live with your parents since leaving care or supported housing.

You must also be:

  • entering year one of an undergraduate degree, studying at least 30 credits per year
  • entitled to funding for fees and living costs from Student Finance England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • entitled to and be taking out the full tuition fee loan or comparable funding
  • assessed by student finance as having a household annual income of under £25,000
  • not in receipt of a full or part sponsorship (for example from an employer) for your tuition fees.

There’s no age limit, so care leavers of any age can apply for the UWE Cares Bursary and 365-day accommodation guarantee if you meet the above eligibility.

You’ll have to provide us with evidence that you’re a care leaver to access these two aspects of UWE Cares support. Please contact UWE Cares to find out more about the evidence you’ll need to provide.

Student finance for care leavers

Student finance bodies will define you as a care leaver if:

  • you’re under 25 on the first day of your course
  • you’ve been in the care of or been given accommodation by the local authority (council) for at least 13 weeks before the age of 16
  • you haven’t been reconciled with your parents between leaving care and starting your course.

Get support

You can apply for financial support from your funding body:

If you have any questions about your eligibility for student finance or the UWE Cares Bursary and the 365-day guarantee, please contact us at

Care leaver stories

As care leavers, Josh, Ed and Rediat have had challenging upbringings. UWE Cares was there to support them on their individual journeys to studying at UWE Bristol.

Josh missed a lot of secondary school and had to double his efforts to keep up academically. Read Josh's story and how UWE Cares helped him.

Ed found school difficult and often got excluded. Read Ed's story and how UWE Cares was there to support him.

UWE Cares film

Rediat has graduated from the University with a degree in BA(Hons) Animation. She's produced a short film to explain how UWE Cares can offer support. Watch the UWE Cares film.

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