Going off to university to study something you love is a goal for most young people, but for those looking after someone else, they often lack the support needed to pursue this. There are an estimated 2,700 unpaid young adult carers (YACs) across Wiltshire alone, and Carers Trust found that of those that do go to university, 16% were concerned that they might have to drop out.
But there is support out there for you to pursue your education goals.
Apply for a bursary from the Wiltshire Community Foundation
Wiltshire Community Foundation University Bursary Grants are open to young people living in Wiltshire and Swindon who are under 25 to support the costs of studying their first undergraduate degree course at a UK university. The programme provides £1,600 each academic year of a degree and can be used towards general living expenses, course costs, travel costs as well as books and equipment to support you studies. Each year the Foundation awards more than a quarter of million to young people across the county.
You can apply for a University Bursary if:
you are under the age of 25
you have lived in Wiltshire or Swindon for at least two years
you, your parents of guardians receive two means-tested benefits or two elements of Universal Credit
you are eligible for funding through Student Finance England
you are studying for your first undergraduate degree at a UK university or institution
For further information visit https://www.wiltshirecf.org.uk/grants-and-support/individuals/university-bursary-one-degree-more/or call 01380 738985.
The last day to request an application form for the academic year 2021/22 is 30 April.
Wiltshire Community Foundation also has 2 other education grant programmes which supports children and young people at school, sixth form, college or undertaking an apprenticeship, you can read more about these grants here: https://www.wiltshirecf.org.uk/grants-and-support/individuals/
2. Get advice, information and support from our young adult carer team
If you live in Wiltshire, we can support you. Register with us here, or call us on 0800 181 4118 for 1-1 advice on your caring role, university, studying and more. You can also come along to our virtual young adult carer cafes!
We've also got a handy page full of resources and information on going to university here.
3. Remember you're not alone - you can do anything you put your mind to!
Tessa, who looks after her Mum, went to university after support from us and a grant from the One Degree More programme, developed by the Wiltshire Community Foundation. Read her inspiring story here.
Hannah, who has studied special affects makeup at university, got the support she needed in order to feel secure enough to move away to study. She also received a bursary from the Wiltshire Community Foundation. Read her inspiring story here.