The This Is Us community
Is our online space to bring together estranged and care experienced HE students and recent graduates in the UK. The idea is to build a student-led space, so that we can feel a greater sense of connection and belonging. The resource is free, national, and available to all ages of students and levels of study. You can learn more about why the community exists and the Unite Foundation’s relationship with it is at the bottom of this page.
Once you’re in the community, you can:
+ chat with other students
+ share thoughts and post helpful info
+ arrange meetups, organise games-nights, daytrips, holidays, etc
+ request Unite Foundation resources to help you run virtual/in-person meetups (see below)
+ have serious conversations or share light-hearted fun
+ give peer-support and pose your own questions
+ make the space whatever you want!
Join us at: thisisusatuni.mn.co
You do not have to fit the student finance definitions of care leaver or estrangement to join us, nor do you have to be on the Unite Foundation scholarship. If you self-identify as care experienced and/or estranged, are in Higher Education and want to be part of a friendly community, you are welcome here.
Meetup: Create your own This Is Us community (TIUC) fun!
Do you have an idea for a meetup, event or activity you want to see take place locally, regionally or nationally for your fellow care experienced and estranged students? You can access funding and support from the Unite Foundation to bring it to life. Read the ‘Create your own TIUC fun’ guidance document below, then apply via our short form.
Create your own This Is Us community (TIUC) fun2022
Create your own This Is Us community (TIUC) fun. Guidance Document and link to resource-request form.View
The Sounding Board
An ongoing roundtable of students and recent graduates who are care experienced and/or estranged and want there to be a strong student-led community for all care experienced and estranged students in the UK. Members of the group are all individuals who actively campaign and advocate for better support for students like us. We meet monthly with Ira Hakim (Unite Foundation) to hold them to account in their actions and the work they have done to support the community.
Want to know more or join us in the Sounding Board? Get in touch.
Raise awareness of the community
Print out your This Is Us community poster below or order more This Is Us community postcards for your higher education institution, society, organisation or Student Union/Guild/Association via our This Is Us community – postcard order form
This Is Us community poster
Print a few copies of the This Is Us community poster and stick them up around your uni/college/conservatoire or in Student Unions and Associations.View
These are = our ideas
Latest Research: “What would a fantastic student-led community of care-experienced and estranged students look, and feel, like to you?”. This is a snapshot summary of all the chats and ideas from recent months with over 170 students and recent graduates.
These student ideas continue to feed into the creation of the This Is Us community. Remember, this space is student-led and is always open to new ways of doing things. Got an idea for a group, event or topic? Go ahead and create it yourself or gather others to help you in the This Is Us community. You can also drop Ira Hakim (Student Community Manager) a message if you would like a hand bringing your idea to life.
These are = our ideas
“What would a fantastic student-led community of care-experienced and estranged students look, and feel, like to you?”View
Why does the This Is Us community exist?
The community was born in May 2022 because the Unite Foundation received many messages from estranged and care experienced students, as well as from the work of the This Is Us forum, saying they wish they knew other people from similar backgrounds and that some sort of community existed specifically for and by them.
Designed to be a student-led space: it is early days so the platform will be a bit quiet, and you’ll see a few posts around by Ira whist things are being built. However, as more people join, set up group chats and organise meetups across the UK, Ira will be taking a step back to let the community do its thing. This Is Us community content, events/meetups and groups are all student and recent graduate ideas.
The Unite Foundation has promised to support and sponsor the This Is Us community long-term. Ira Hakim is the only member of staff from the Unite Foundation who manages the community. Their role is to act as a sort of human-toolkit who can provide a platform, resources, finance, contacts, safeguarding, advice/guidance and anything else they need to bring the community to life.
Looking for advice? See Signposting & Support