Supporting students without families over the winter break
The majority of university students will have already returned to their homes for the festive break, but for those with no parental or wider family support, or homes to go back to, such as care leavers, those who are estranged from their families, and refugees and asylum seekers, Christmas can be particularly challenging. The Office for Students (OfS) has published a case study that offers some ideas on supporting these students who can face difficulties in terms of isolation and loneliness, financial hardship, inadequate study space or IT equipment, and limited access to support services.
Home Comforts, a collaboration between Sussex Learning Network and the University of Sussex, is among five projects listed on the case study and was developed as part of our Uni Connect programme. The project links current university students with local foster families, working collaboratively with leaving care teams, universities and fostering teams.
Support for the students includes shopping deliveries during isolation periods, socially distanced walks and chats, phone conversations, and cards and letters sent to mark special occasions. There are plans to maintain this contact and to continue outdoor meets over the festive period.
For further information about the project, please email Debra Vice-Holt.