It’s a tragic statistic that only 11.8% of young people in care enter higher education compared with 43.1% of all young people. Despite being cared for and nurtured by dedicated foster carers, there are invisible barriers that halt young care leavers in their tracks.
One of the biggest barriers is the ability to finance studying at university. Many students worry about finances during their time at university, but these concerns are heightened when there is little or no financial family support available. Struggling to be able to fund your studies or finding yourself working multiple part-time jobs is undoubtedly detrimental on your ability to achieve your best potential. While they can receive some financial support from their local authority and there are student loans available, these don’t fully cover tuition, housing, and living costs.
The University of Surrey has stepped in to try to bridge the gap by launching the Forever Surrey Scholarship, which is a £12,000 scholarship that will support a student who is a care leaver to study at the university. This scholarship will provide a life changing opportunity for care leavers who may not have been able to afford to fulfil their dream of completing their education.
As an alumnus of the University of Surrey, Affinity’s Director Andy Robins heard about the scholarship and was immediately drawn to donate. Fostering vulnerable children and young people has always been close to his heart, from when his family privately fostered when he was young.
“When I heard about the scholarship, it immediately struck a chord”, says Andy, “as the Director of a fostering agency I have been able to see first-hand how many barriers exist for care leavers to achieve their full potential”.
“All of us at Surrey were so thrilled to be supported by Andy and Affinity Fostering who were founder donors to the Forever Surrey Scholarship. The Forever Surrey scholarship is specifically aiming to support young people who have been in care and want to fulfil their ambitions at the University of Surrey.” Daniel Lawrence, Advancement Office, University of Surrey.
Affinity Fostering are proud to announce that they have donated to the Forever Surrey Scholarship fund and are founding donors. This means that we are continuing to help young people when they most need it, and supports are mission to help vulnerable children and young people to reach affinity and beyond. We can’t wait to hear updates from the students who receive this fantastic financial opportunity and look forward to continuing to support the scholarship programme as it grows in the future.