Sir John Cass’s Foundation announces additional support for care leavers at the University of Westminster during Covid-19


In May 2020 the Foundation awarded an additional £16,000 to the University of Westminster, on top of its original pledge of £10,000 in 2020, to ensure that all of its eligible care experienced students could receive Completion Bursaries to help ease the financial burden during the coronavirus crisis.

Since 2017 we have been supporting the University of Westminster’s care experienced students with Care Leavers Completion Bursaries. The Bursaries are awarded to students who have previous experience with the care system who are in their final year of undergraduate study at the University. They can be used to cover maintenance costs such as accommodation, living expenses and graduation costs, and are intended to ease student’s financial burden so that they may not need to continue any part-time work and are able to fully focus on their studies. They are also intended to help ease the post-university transition independent living for students without family support to reply on by paying deposits for future accommodation.

Pressures caused by coronavirus

This year the University of Westminster had funds to support 5 students with Completion Bursaries from the original, multi-year grant we had awarded in 2017. However, as the impact that the coronavirus pandemic was having on its students became clearer, it was evident that more could be done. Despite the University of Westminster’s successful transition to remote working and learning, it recognised that many of its students simply did not have the infrastructure, finances or support in this new and uncertain climate. Many had lost their part-time jobs and only source of income and those without familial support were experiencing even more isolation than normal.

Building on the successful existing partnership between the Foundation and the University, our Governors were delighted to award additional funds to ensure that all care experienced students meeting our eligibility criteria could be supported this year.

“In these extraordinary times we find ourselves in, the Foundation has been clear that we are committed to finding ways to best support our existing partners during and beyond this crisis. The Care Leavers Completion Bursaries are a great way of getting funds directly to those in need and make a real difference to the lives of these individual students.” Richard Foley, Chief Executive, Sir John Cass’s Foundation

“We have a strong record of pastoral care in supporting care leavers and this additional support has enabled us to further strengthen our provision. This will truly go a long way in helping our most vulnerable students at this time.” Jules Attanayake, Development Officer, University of Westminster