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Care leavers and estranged students


Care leavers

Here at St Mary’s we recognise the need to support students who have previously been in the care of their local authority. We have a dedicated member of staff in the Student Funding Service who is the designated point of contact for all care leavers, and can act as a liaison between any student who requires their assistance and the other areas of the university.

If you would like to come in for an appointment with the designated member of staff, please email studentfundingservice@stmarys.ac.uk and we will set up a suitable time. Alternatively you can phone 0208 240 4048.

Care Leavers are entitled to financial support from the university to support themselves. This is broken down into four sections:

  • Care Leavers Busary

Please visit the care leavers bursary page to see how much you’d be entitled to as a care leaver. 

  • Hardship Fund

Care leavers are classed as one of the priority groups for the Hardship Fund, and their applications will be processed as such. Please email studentfundingservice@stmarys.ac.uk or come in to see us in the Funding Office to receive an application, or to know more about the Fund.

  • Emergency Summer Fund

St Mary’s recognises that the summer can be a difficult period for care leavers, and so can provide a bursary to help cover costs of living in the period between academic years. Please contact the Student Funding Service to find out more. 

  • Graduation Fund

Care Leavers are also entitled to a bursary from the university to help pay towards their graduation costs. Graduation is such a wonderful celebration of students’ hard work, and we don’t want anyone to miss out on this because of the cost involved. Places on this scheme are limited but we aim to be able to help Care Leavers with the costs for:

-        Gown hire

-        Guest Tickets

-        Basic Photo Package.


Estranged students

We have recently signed up to the Stand Alone Pledge, which confirms our commitment to helping Estranged Students as they progress through their studies at St Mary’s University.

Similarly to our help for Care Leavers, we offer support to anyone who is estranged from their family, and can do this in a number of ways. Please visit the Stand Alone pledge website for details on what we can offer:

If you are estranged, whether recently or long-term, and you need assistance with anything – ranging from finding accommodation to help with Student Finance England – then please contact the Student Funding Service using the details above. We’d be happy to talk to you in a confidential manner, and our conversation won’t involve anyone else at all.

Estranged Students are also considered a priority group for the Hardship Fund, and you can also get help from the Emergency Summer Fund and the Graduation Fund, the details of which are found above. Please contact us if you have any questions about this, or would like to apply.