Care experienced students

We’re committed to ensuring that care experienced students can access and succeed at the University of Bristol. From thinking about applying through to graduation we can offer support and guidance to help you have a successful university experience.

If you’re considering university you can get in contact with Zaynab Hamdi, who can offer advice throughout the application process. We run events to help you and your support network find out more about university, and prioritise applications from care experienced students in our outreach projects.

Current University of Bristol students can contact Maria Tottle, our dedicated care experienced student contact, who can offer 1:1 advice, support and coaching throughout your time here. Maria can signpost you to additional support around the University and help you to work through any challenges or concerns you may have. 

Kinship care

If you have been brought up by a relative or friend through a formal arrangement (e.g. fostering or Special Guardianship Order) – you are considered as living ‘in care’ and are typically eligible for support as a care leaver.

If your kinship care arrangements are informal (i.e. you are not considered ‘in care’) you may still be eligible for support as an estranged student.

Support from your Local Authority

If you have spent any time in care after your 16th birthday, then it is very likely that you will be entitled to support from Children’s Services as a care leaver, up until at least your 25th birthday.

However, it can be very complicated to know exactly what support you should be getting from Children’s Services. 

View Coram Voice's handy guide to the support you can expect from your Local Authority.

Events and support for current students

Maria, our dedicated care leaver and estranged student contact working with undergraduate students, is able to provide you with support and guidance. She is contactable by email, Microsoft Teams or telephone. Maria will be sending regular updates, as well as opportunities to stay in touch with her and with each other. To make sure you receive these emails please complete our support for care leavers and estranged students form

During the year we have some events specifically for you. The first few are noted below, after this we also have monthly catch up sessions. 

Welcome and Support Information Session

Friday 23 September, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Room 2D2, Priory Road Complex, 12 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TU

This one-hour drop-in session offers the chance to chat with staff and meet other students who are care experienced or are estranged from their families. You’ll be able to find out about the support available at university and take a short (optional) campus tour. 


Monday 26 September, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Senate House Marketplace Café, Lower Ground Floor, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TH

Join Maria for a free lunch, where you can ask questions and get to know other students. 

Welcome Village

20 – 22 September

During Welcome there will be a Welcome Village on campus where you’ll be able to find live performances, stalls and street food, as well as information about support services. Maria will be at the Student Inclusion Team stand on Tuesday and Thursday so do come and say hello! 

If you can’t attend these events, there will be other opportunities to meet throughout the year. You can also meet with Maria individually if you would like to. Make sure you’ve signed up for the monthly bulletin to keep up to date with events and opportunities for you throughout the year.

Over 21?

If you are aged 21 or over, please read our mature students pages to find out about mature student events or contact our Mature Students' Adviser (

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