10 Years of Unite Foundation
2022 was a big year for the Unite Foundation as we celebrated our 10th Birthday. 10 years of supporting care leavers and young people who are estranged from their families to pursue their university dreams.
Over the last decade our unique 365 day a year accommodation scholarship has helped more than 600 students enter and succeed in higher education.
+ We’ve awarded 614 scholarships since 2012, with 296 Unite Foundation students that have graduated university and are pursuing their dreams.
+ For the 22/23 student intake we offered 80 scholarships. An extra 20 scholarships were generously donated by Unite Students as an extra special 10th birthday gift.
+ Those 100 students were all offered a welcome pack. A huge thank you to UniKitout, Circuit Laundry and Perlego for their support.
+ 46 students graduated in 2022. Each student was sent a small cash gift from Unite Foundation to help with the transition to post graduate or working life.
+ 19 students or recent graduates worked with us on our strategic projects. They designed and continue to be a guiding force for the This is Us Community.
10 years of Impact
+ Students on the Unite Foundation scholarship have always told us how life changing the scholarship has been for them. But we hadn’t had enough data to explore the impact of our work.
+ As part of our 10th birthday we commissioned Jisc to carry out an independent comparative analysis of a decade worth of data
+ The research found strong evidence that our scholarship positively impacts student progression, completion rates and degree outcomes
+ In other words, providing a home at uni for care experienced and estranged students works!
What we now know…
+ Unite Foundation students stay on course
Scholarship students progressed from 1st to 2nd year of study at the same rate as non-care leaver students
+ Unite Foundation students get their degrees
Scholarship students completed their degree closer to the rate of non-care leavers
+ Unite Foundation students get ‘good honours’ degrees
Scholarship students were within 3 percentage points of non-care leaver students in getting 1st or 2:1 class degrees
Read the full report with executive summary, methodology and detailed findings here.
This is Home
We published a 10th birthday book – ‘This is for Everyone’ - which sets out the case for supporting care experienced and estranged students with a home
Scholarship student and photographer Dannii Jones was commissioned to take portraits of some of our scholarship students for our book
Dannii applied her distinctive style to the theme of ‘home’ - the thread that runs through all of our work.
The portraits from the book have been made into an exhibition ‘This is Home.’ The exhibition is now touring the UK to facilitate conversations about estrangement and care experience.
This is Community
Our five year strategy sets out the ambition for all estranged and care experienced students to feel united by a sense of community.
In May 2022 a new online community was launched. The space is open to any care experienced and estranged HE student or recent graduate in the UK.
There are now over 500 students signed up with events and get togethers being organised.
This is Us
The @thisisus social channels are run by students for students. This year 9 students have worked with us on the social rota with more signed on for next year.
The podcast goes from strength to strength with 21 episodes released since March 2020 with 5 episodes released in 2022 and over 3,000 downloads.
This is partnership
At Unite Foundation we believe collaboration is key to helping improve the lives of care experienced and estranged students
In 21/22 we worked with 26 universities across England and Scotland to deliver accommodation scholarships
We worked with Thames Water and Glide to deliver 2 employment opportunities for our students
In June we took over the secretariat for the policy group “Care Leavers and Estranged Students in Higher Education” – CLEESinHE
The group co-chaired by NNECL & Care Leaver Covenant, includes representatives from StandAlone, Become, DfE, UCAS, Student Loans Company, NAVSH and National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum
The group is addressing the lack of publicly available data about care experienced and estranged university students
Our 2021/22 Income
£1.718 million = income from our principal donor, Unite Students, thank you!
£200k = earned from our investments
£312k = drawn down from our cash reserves
Money spent in 2021/22
…where it matters most
+ £1.8 million = year-round homes for scholarship students
+ £80k = student community, projects, welcome and graduation support
+ £47k = research and communications
+ £269k = management and governance (12%)
We knew our Board of Trustees would be even stronger if it included young people with lived experience of university and the care system and/or family estrangement
In early 2022 we worked with Young Trustees Movement to proactively target young people keen to make a difference
We’re delighted to welcome Social Media and Data Management Consultant, Nyomi Rose and HM Treasury Adviser, Lorna Cosgrave as new Trustees. You can find out more about why they wanted to join the Board here
Changing charitable status
On 30 September 2022 The Unite Foundation Charitable Trust (Charity Number: 1147344/SC043324) was closed to create a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
The Unite Foundation CIO - was formed on 1 October 2022 and registered in England and Wales 1198601, Scotland SC051987
The new CIO follows the same 5 year strategy, staffing and governance as the former Charitable Trust