Care leavers

The Care Leavers Service – we’re here to help if you need us

We’ll support you before and during the application process. We offer a variety of services to help you make the most of your time with us. We've been awarded the Buttle UK Quality Mark in recognition of the ‘exemplary level of support’ we provide to all our students.

Are you a care-experienced student?

We deem a care-experienced student as any student who has spent 13 weeks or more in the care of a local authority (including private fostering). If you are in any doubt if you are eligible for support, please contact us. 

What can we offer?

There’s lots of information about the service on our other pages but in short we offer:

Before you get here

  • Application and transition support: pre-entry visits, liaison with support workers and carers and help with your UCAS, funding and bursary applications.
  • Accommodation – guaranteed accommodation on campus for 52 weeks of the year throughout your course and the opportunity to apply for a UNITE scholarship awarding free accommodation for the duration of your course (subject to eligibility).

Moving to University

  • Transitions – help moving in and settling in when you arrive plus welcome sessions.
  • £200 Wilko voucher - available to all eligible students (subject to evidence) to help with the cost of setting up at university. 

Once you’re here, make the most of it

  • Social networks – membership of CAKE (Care Advisory Knowledge Exchange) group which meets monthly and offers discussion, development opportunities, socials and friendship led by and for current care leaver students.
  • Academic – supporting you with course-related issues, including liaising with your academic department and course tutors.

  • Skills for life – exciting opportunities to make the most of university life including student ambassador work, skills building events and employer mentoring.
  • Summer support – help finding summer accommodation and  free storage of your possessions over summer if you need it. 

Onwards and upwards

  • Graduation – a graduation package including financial support with robes, graduation tickets, travel and accommodation.
  • After graduation – ongoing support for up to one year including job references and continued contact with you support worker if you want it. 

At all times

  • Someone to listen – offer of regular catch ups with care leavers service staff or you can simply come to see us for a chat when you like
  • Moral support –  at every stage of your journey through university
  • Finance – support with budgeting and accessing and applying for financial support
  • Where to go – help accessing internal and external services to make the most of your time at university.



We want to make our service accessible to all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. If there are any barriers to you using the service, please contact us and we'll be happy to make alternative arrangements or adjustments wherever possible to accommodate your needs.

Physical access

The Counselling and Personal Development Service (including the Care Leavers Service) reception on the main Plymouth campus is based in the Learning Gateway, on the ground floor of the Roland Levinsky Building and is fully accessible. Care Leavers Service one-to-one meetings are held here and in 4 Portland Mews where there is wheelchair access to the ground floor, a waiting area, one consulting room and adapted toilet facilities. If you'd like an appointment and need it to be in a ground floor room, please contact us in advance and we'll arrange this for you. If required, we can arrange parking for disabled students in a bay immediately outside the building.

Written materials

All our service publicity can be produced in different formats on request.

Students based at other sites

If you're a University of Plymouth student at Peninsula Allied Health Centre (PAHC) at Marjon, Somerset College in Taunton, or the Knowledge Spa in Truro you can get in touch with us by using the Plymouth contact details. 

We may be able to offer a face-to-face appointment at your place of study.