Care leavers

Support available for care leavers

We're committed to helping more care leavers go to university.

If you're a care leaver, there's lots of support available to you. In this video, our Care Leavers Coordinator, Phil Bakstad, explains what support you could access:

Support available

There are three key ways we can help if you are a care leaver.

Faq Items

Financial support

The John Lennon Imagine Award

A yearly bursary of a minimum of a £1,000

The John Lennon Imagine Award is a non-repayable bursary, which might be available to you if you are a care leaver, or if you are estranged from your family. It may also, in some cases, be available to you if you have lived in a Foyer or other supported housing scheme and you choose to study at Liverpool John Moores University.

This bursary is given to you in addition to the financial support you will receive from your local authority and any Student Finance you may be eligible for (your grants and loans). The John Lennon Imagine Award is available for each year of your course, on attending a yearly update meeting.

You will need to provide evidence of your status as a care leaver. A letter from your Personal Adviser/Social Worker/Pathway Worker is ideal. If you are unsure of the evidence needed to confirm your circumstances, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


365-day accommodation is available for you in Liverpool John Moores University partner accommodation, should you wish to access this. Speak to us about this before making a decision about where you want to live. We can also arrange for you to visit any partner accommodation you are interested in before you make your final decision.

One-to-one support

We understand that you may not want, or need, any extra support when you arrive, and this might remain the case for the length of your studies. However, here is a guide on what support you could receive from Phil Bakstad, our dedicated member of staff for care leavers:

  • We will work with you and your Leaving Care team to ensure a smooth transition to university and, when necessary, we will liaise with your Local Authority on your behalf
  • We will support you when you apply for student funding, including making an initial application, liaising with your funding body about your student finance and managing your money while at university
  • We will develop a package of support that suits your needs including support with Study Skills and a mentor, should you wish
  • We will provide support with academic issues including liaising with your academic department/course tutors
  • We will signpost you towards other Liverpool John Moores University services, such as the Graduate Development Centre and LiverpoolSU
  • We will help you to apply for additional sources of funding, such as the Student Support Fund and charitable trusts
  • We will be there if you need someone to talk to

What do current students think of your 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.

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question you might be able to find the answer below:

How do I apply for support?

To apply for support, simply tick the box stating that you are a care leaver on your UCAS application. Once you have declared and submitted your application, Phil Bakstad, our Care Leaver Coordinator, will contact you. If you don’t declare, your Leaving Care team can put you in touch with Phil instead. You'll find Phil's contact details above.

I'm a care leaver. I'm not sure I want to live in student accommodation. What other options are available?

Living in student accommodation is a good way to make friends at university. However, if you’d prefer to live in a private house or flat-share you can talk through what other accommodation options are available with Phil. You can contact Phil using the contact details above.

Liverpool Student Homes holds a full list of suitable properties for Liverpool John Moores University students. You can view available properties on the Liverpool Student Homes website or get further information by telephoning on: 0151 794 3296.

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