The Plymouth Fund

Can you help offer students the chance of a life-changing degree by giving to the Plymouth Fund?

Your gift will go directly towards giving students from a disadvantaged background the support they need to study at the University of Plymouth. 
Despite an unstable start in life, they have achieved the results needed to win a place and, with your help, their time here can set them up for life. 
Students will benefit from:
  • A bursary each year of their studies. 
  • Guaranteed accommodation for 52 weeks of the year.
  • Monthly meetings and social events with other care leavers.
  • A team to turn to for information, advice and support.
Donate to support a bursary that could enable someone who’s had a tough start in life to accept their place here at the University of Plymouth.

Meet our students

Jade

When Jade was young she felt there was a stigma around being in care. When the University asked if she was a care leaver, she feared there would be discrimination as a result. 

I never had any interest in school and certainly not in going to university. It was only when I started working as a carer that I started thinking I might be able to train as a nurse. I had to go to college to re-do my GSCEs in maths and English, as I had failed everything at school, and then carry on at night-school to do my A levels. The money from the bursary has been a massive help through my degree. I’ve learned I’ve got a lot more resilience than I thought! I’m very proud to have made it here.

Jade graduated from Plymouth and now works as a nurse in the NHS.

Edward

"I was taken into care at the age of two. It was always my goal to go to university, but I wouldn’t have got there if my grandparents hadn’t supported me.
 
When I visited Plymouth, the team reached out to me and explained about the bursaries. The bursary I’ve received has had a big impact on my time at the University. It’s given me the freedom to buy course books, learn and travel. I’ve also benefited socially – my best friend is someone I met at a care leavers’ event."

 Ashleigh

"I was taken into care at the age of 14. My grades improved and I was encouraged to go to university, but I knew it would be hard for me as a care leaver. I first looked at the University of Plymouth because of the course, but then I discovered the bursaries and support for care leavers. My friends have their parents to help them emotionally and financially. For me, the care leavers’ support is like having the University as a surrogate parent! It keeps me supported."

<p>Ashleigh</p>

Joshua

Joshua is one of many care leavers who refers to his bursary as a safety net.
"Most other students seem to have financial support from their parents... The care leavers' bursary has been extremely beneficial to my studies."
Care leavers don’t have the support of their parents, but thanks to your support, they feel they’re being helped too.

Christina

After my mother died, I spent time in foster care with my little brother. It was a long road from foster care to graduating from the University of Plymouth with a Law degree, but the support I received made it possible. I worked throughout my degree to fund my studies and living costs. Throughout this time, the University gave me support, including making counselling services available to me and awarding me a care leavers

Sophie

Sophie grew up in care. She had to move from place to place, never settling into school before moving again. Between the ages of 13 and 16, she didn’t go to school at all although she very much wanted to. She lived in foster homes she describes as being "like prisons". At 16, she became homeless. As a young adult, she found the strength to go back to college and gain the qualifications needed to apply to university.
"Going to university still sometimes seems too good to be true, because I was always made to feel like an inferior person in society, not good enough or normal enough to go to school. Attending university is about much more than getting a degree, it's a chance to start a new life. It can be the most valuable thing in the world for a care leaver, and was the best decision of my life. I've voted for the first time here in Plymouth." 

<p>The Plymouth Fund, student</p>

Cheri

“Do you remember your graduation day? This is mine. Not many people with a start in life like I had ever get this far. I was four years old when I was first taken into care. I was moved from place to place, and briefly returned to live with my mother. 
But when my brother was born, we all went back into care. He was adopted and I was placed in a foster family with only one of my sisters. My family was separated. It wasn’t an easy start in life or a stable one. But my grandparents instilled in me the importance of an education. 

People like you made it possible for me to accept my place, and saw me through difficult times. As a care leaver, I was lucky enough to get support from the University. This included a grant to help with living costs and buying books; accommodation all year round, and there was always someone for me to talk to. There were monthly meetings for care leavers, where I met people who faced the same difficulties as me. I made friends who really helped me.

<p>Cheri Duffett - BA (Hons) Business<br></p>

Without that support, I wouldn’t have made it through to graduation. That’s why, as well as saying thank you, I want to ask if you will help other care leavers who are due to start at the University.”

<p>

Reddin Ahmad

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Reddin

"I arrived here from Iraq as a child and received treatment for conditions I was born with. I was inspired to study medicine. Receiving a scholarship helped with my living costs. It also enabled me to work in my local hospital, shadowing doctors. Thanks to the support I’ve received, I’ve been able to get fully involved in university life. My goal is to be an emergency doctor in harsh, stressful environments where medical assistance is limited.”

Support our engineering students

The Tamar Engineering Project provides mentoring and financial support for students who want to embark on a career in engineering and who have shown potential for high academic achievement at A level, but whose background or personal circumstances may be a barrier to university study.
Companies that support the project provide both the financial assistance of a bursary and mentoring expertise to talented students to help them develop essential workplace skills and gain an understanding of the sector and the breadth of career opportunities open to engineering graduates.

<p>Tamar Engineering Project, Gemma Maynard (scholar) and Phil Piddington, (mentor) Managing Director of Viridor</p>