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Easing the Move for Estranged Students

Easing the Move for Estranged Students

Your generosity has helped to make the transition to university easier for students who don’t have the support of their family. 

Earlier this year, £7000 donated to the Hallam Fund was put towards launching the new Estranged Student Transition Fund to help students who have no relationship with their parents settle into their new life at Sheffield Hallam University.

Mistreatment from family members, rejection due to sexual orientation and conflicting morals, values and beliefs are just some of the circumstances that can lead to estrangement. 

Because the vast majority of estranged students have never had contact with social services, they do not qualify for the sparse statutory assistance available to those leaving care. This can pose many unique challenges that students from more 'traditional' family backgrounds just don’t need to think about. 

The introduction of the new fund has ensured that estranged students will not have to worry about finding the money to hire a removal van or pay their accommodation deposit - instead they will be able to focus on settling in, meeting new friends, and making Sheffield their home.

Josie is in her first year of studying film and media production. Josie has been estranged from her family since she was 14, since then she has lived with her school friend and her family. For Josie, the biggest worry was finding a means to move all her belongings to Sheffield. 

"Moving here was a worry. On the day I was moving my friend was also moving to uni. The family I stay with only have one car so their priority was moving their daughter. I called the University to ask for some support because I didn’t have anyone else I could go to. They called the taxi service nearest to me to help me take all my stuff; it was all paid for through the transition fund. Without that support, moving would have been much more stressful and it would have put more stress on the family I live with. Without it I would have had to go straight into my overdraft before uni had even begun."   

For Beth, who moved to Sheffield from Malvern to study physiotherapy at Hallam, the fund has meant that her situation hasn't prevented her from making new friends. 

"It might not sound important, but the fund has really helped me to socialise. Coming to a new city and meeting new people is very difficult when you can’t afford to grab some food with course mates or go to the physio socials, for example. I am incredibly grateful as the extra support meant that other people didn’t notice as much that I couldn't do these things - which inevitably leads to that very uncomfortable conversation which you don't want to have.

Beth said: "For me the fund shows that you're no less of a student than anyone else, you can still do the things that everyone else is doing and no one has to know that you're in this situation. I'm very grateful. - it's really nice that people are there to help you on your first step."

Find out more about how your donations are helping to ensure the welfare of students, regardless of their background, here.

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