Edge Hill has pledged to commit greater support for students who are studying without the support of a family network, and ensure they are given the best chance to thrive at university.

The Stand Alone Pledge is designed to support students who are estranged from their families and encourages universities to be a ‘champion’ institution for estranged students by publicly committing to offer support.

By signing the Pledge, Edge Hill has committed to offer a range of student support for estranged students, including access to mental health and wellbeing services, financial advice and enhanced accommodation support.

Some of the methods of support the University offers to estranged students include:  

  • A named contact, who students can speak to for advice and guidance, both pre-entry and when on course. 
  • Students can request a contract for a room in the University halls of residence for 365 days a year, for the three years of their degree.
  • Students can leave belongings in their halls of residence room if they’re not staying over the summer and are returning to the same room in September.
  • The Wellbeing & Counselling team are available to support students’ health and wellbeing needs throughout their time at Edge Hill. They offer emotional and practical support and can also help students access other services that may be relevant.

Dr Heather Piggott, Strategic Lead for Access and Participation at Edge Hill, said: “Pledging to Stand Alone demonstrates our commitment to students who apply to and enrol at university without the support or approval of a family network. These students may face particular barriers or challenges in accessing and succeeding at university and they can often benefit from bespoke or additional support. By Pledging to Stand Alone, we hope to raise greater awareness and visibility of the support we offer this student group.”

“Taking the Pledge requires making commitments to support estranged students in four areas- finance, accommodation, mental health and outreach. At Edge Hill, we have committed to these four areas and more. This commitment forms part of our wider Access and Participation Plan work to support student groups who are underrepresented within higher education to access, succeed and progress. We will continue to develop our support for estranged students, learning from national research, effective practice, and research we conduct with our own students to further understand their needs.”

If you are an estranged student, or a member of staff wanting to know more about how you can support our estranged students, please get in touch with Transitions by emailing transitions@edgehill.ac.uk.