31 August 2022

Building on the University’s strong record in pastoral care for supporting care leavers, these bursaries will enable the University to provide vital additional support to five care leaver students in their final year of study each year for the next three years. The bursaries will be provided to students living in the Westminster area of London and will enable them to reduce paid working hours during their pre-finals revision period so they can focus fully on their studies and attain higher degree awards. The money also contributes towards food, utility bills, rent at university and a deposit for rented accommodation after university, in addition to graduation costs, interview clothes and cushioning living expenses whilst graduates look for full-time work.

Students from care backgrounds often face greater financial and emotional pressures without the family support networks that other students have. These students often work longer hours to support their living expenses, giving them less time to study and do well, and this adversely affects their mental health and wellbeing. With this transformational grant from the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, a Westminster based charity committed to supporting impactful educational opportunities for young people in the City, this vulnerable student cohort will feel much more supported throughout the most pressurised time of their studies and young adult lives.

The University of Westminster has a long-held commitment to widening access to those from under-represented groups and the Sir Simon Milton Foundation Care Leaver Bursaries are one of several specialist scholarship schemes that the Development Team has cultivated over the years with external Trusts and Foundations.

Matthew Sykes, Chief Executive of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Westminster again. Giving a leg-up to students who need it most is at the core of the Foundation’s work for young people in Westminster.”

Jules Attanayake, Trusts and Foundations Officer in the Development Team at Westminster, said: “I would like to thank the Board of Trustees at Sir Simon Milton Foundation sincerely for this generous and transformational donation. This will truly go a long way in helping 15 of our most vulnerable students, with students adversely affected by the effects of the cost-of-living crisis amongst the general population and facing a more uncertain job market than ever before.”

The Sir Simon Milton Foundation is a Westminster based charity that works to continue Simon Milton’s vision of a society in which communities care, the young aspire, and older people thrive. The mission of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation is to provide opportunities in education and training for the young and for older people to feel valued for their contribution to their communities. Further details can be found on their website.

To find out how you can help more students from care backgrounds, please email the Development Team.