Breaking barriers to higher education for care experienced young people

"Supporting the Supporters" is a collaborative conference bringing adults who work to support care-experienced young people together to share their expertise and make positive changes.

This year’s conference delivered as part of our Uni Connect partnership with Greater Manchester Higher took place virtually on the 6 May.

The University of Manchester and the other institutions in the Greater Manchester Higher partnership delivered a choice of virtual workshops for delegates and CPD workshops were held on the most up-to-date information about the support available to young people who are care-experienced in the transition to, and whilst at University. By providing the opportunity to discuss a range of information about the university experience, the conference aimed to help break down barriers and promote participation in HE for care experienced young people.

Our Care Experienced Student Ambassadors played an important role throughout the day, sharing their lived experiences of university and the support they received as well as information or support they might have missed out on. A past delegate highly valued: “the opportunity to discuss [different issues] with the Care Leaver Student Ambassadors and understand their needs and views. It was also an opportunity to network with [their] peers”.

Because many of the delegates work in different capacities to support young people who have experienced care, coming together at such an event gives a good overview of what other organisations are currently doing to support this group of young people and can spark change.