Student Life Centre

Care leavers

The Student Life Centre is here to support you throughout your studies helping you to achieve your goals and to have a fully rounded experience of University life.

We understand that, as students entering university from a care background, you may require additional support in order to ensure you get the most of your time here.  Starting a university course is a big transition to make. It can be an exciting time when new opportunities open up for you, both socially and academically. For many of you, it involves moving to an unfamiliar city, leaving behind an existing support network, and encountering a range of new influences and new situations. Dealing with so much change all at once can feel overwhelming.

Lynn O’Meara, the Deputy Head of the Student Life Team and the Senior Life Advisor, is the named Advisor who will be a source of information and advice throughout your time at the University.

When you start at University

To help you with the transition to university life and to support you while you are here, we have a designated Student Life Advisor who will meet with you at induction, and be available to you for a series of one-to-one appointments during your first term.

While you are here

Throughout your course, the designated Student Life Advisor and the team of Student Advisors are here to support you. They are all well informed about the help, support and resources available whatever your issues. The Student Life Advisors provide confidential appointments which can be booked in advance (via Sussex Direct, under Study, Student Life Centre), and also offer email advice, on-the-day welfare drop-in sessions, and telephone appointments. 


You will have the opportunity to remain in university managed accommodation for 52 weeks per year throughout the duration of your course. We can cover the cost of a bedding and kitchen pack upon arrival.


The Student Funding Team, who work closely with the Student Life Advisors and are located within the Student Life Centre, offer you 1-2-1 appointments and drop-in sessions to discuss any money worries you may have. This includes advice and guidance on funding from Student Finance, budgeting, maximising your income, and minimizing your expenditure. Your generous financial package* as a September 2020 starter includes:

  •   £2,000 care leaver award per year of study.*
  • Welcome pack worth approx. £150
  • Sports/leisure membership worth approx. £140 per year
  • Free bedding pack on arrival (if required).
  •  Free catering pack on arrival (if required).
  • Priority if applying for the University’s hardship fund.


Plus on graduating you will receive:

  • Graduation ceremony package worth approx. £150
  • £500 exit bursary to assist with clothing/travel for interview

*This is in addition to the Sussex Bursary - further information on which can be found here   (please add link - 

Care leaver students are one of the priority groups for the University’s Hardship Fund and therefore if you experience any financial difficulties as a result of an unexpected event please book a Student Funding appointment with one of our Money Advisors.

You will also have priority in applying for paid student work as a co-creator, working with the University on various projects around the student experience, or as a student ambassador in the Widening Participation team. "


What our students have told us:

 The Student Life Centre, where your life matters.

I have been at Sussex for the past two years and have had several meetings with my Student Life Advisor. Coming from a care background it was a big move and a new start coming to Uni. I have had more help than I could have asked for, especially with my Student Finance application every year. Emails, phone or face-to-face meetings made keeping up to date a lot easier. My advice for anyone starting at Sussex: If you have any worries or concerns, just go and see the Student Life Centre as they are here to help and they certainly won't turn you away. Uni is a big thing and can be overwhelming and they will help you mend any issues!

Alex, Care leaver, 2016

Thank you so much for all your help, advice, and support over my time at Sussex. I hope the SLC at my new Uni for my Masters is as good if I ever need it!
Care leaver, 2015.