Care-experienced students

LJMU has a long history of supporting care experienced students and those who are estranged from their families. In 2009 with the support of Yoko Ono’s Spirit Foundation, we set up our award-winning John Lennon Imagine Award scheme and in 2022 were awarded the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) Quality Mark in recognition of the enhanced level of support that we offer.

Support available to care-experienced students

If you are care-experienced or estranged from your family, we recognise that you may have specific questions or concerns while studying at LJMU. Our dedicated staff within Student Advice and Wellbeing Services can work with you to plan out what support you might benefit from at each stage of your journey.

Our support includes:

  • meeting you at university events such as Open Days, Campus Tours and Applicant Days
  • liaising with you and any support workers you might have, including Foster Carers, Personal Advisors or Social Workers
  • a dedicated point of contact within Student Advice and Wellbeing Services to provide ongoing advice and support

In addition we offer:

  • The Imagine Award, an annual bursary of £1000 per academic year
  • Access to 365-day accommodation in an LJMU partner hall
  • Support with Student Finance and funding advice
  • Wellbeing, counselling and mental health support
  • Careers and employability support

We will also send you regular email updates by email on support and specific opportunities available to you.

Definition of a care-experienced student

Our definition of care-experienced is inclusive of the range of different circumstances under which someone may have spent time in care, for example being looked after by a Local Authority or being in kinship care.

We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and you may have questions about what support you are eligible for. Your dedicated point of contact in Student Advice and Wellbeing Services can discuss this with you.

Just get in touch by emailing or calling 0151 231 3149.

We respect your confidentiality and will only ever share relevant information about you with your consent.

Accessing support

When you tick the box at UCAS to say you are care-experienced, you will automatically be contacted by our team to outline the support available to you. You can also get in touch with us directly by emailing or calling 0151 231 3149.

We will invite you to come along for a chat or can arrange a Teams call if that is more convenient. To access the Imagine Award bursary, we will ask you to attend an annual catch-up and provide some supporting evidence in your first year. This will usually be a letter from your Local Authority / other support agency or confirmation of Independent Student Status from your funding body. Our team can help you source appropriate evidence when needed.

What current students think of our support

If you’re curious about what our students think of the support we offer, take a look at this video:

Contact the team

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Phil Bakstad using the form below or call us on 0151 231 3149.

Send us a message


How we handle your data

We will use the information in this form to process and respond to your request and to comply with our legal obligations.

For further information as to how we handle your data, please see the  Information Compliance Privacy Notice.