This December, Kirklees College proudly supported Estranged Students Solidarity Week. As part of this year’s theme of ‘Being an Ally to Estranged Students’, the college raised awareness of the challenges that estranged students face and helped the college community to better understand how to support them in their studies and personal life.
Throughout the week, the Student Support Team hosted virtual drop-in sessions, shared best practice and advice and staff made a pledge to stand with and be an ally to estranged students.
As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting estranged students, Melissa, the KC Community Mentor for Estranged Students has set up a support group where students and staff can share their personal experiences and seek advice in a safe environment. The first group will be taking place on Tuesday 15 December at 2.30pm in Room B01014 at the Huddersfield Centre.
Speaking about her experience as an estranged student, Melissa said:
“In my last year of high school, some issues that I was experiencing in my home life left me in a position where it was safer for me to live away from the family home and in January 2020, I moved into the hostel and began my life away from my family home.
At first, I felt free with my own space and security, finances and responsibility but after a few months I noticed how vulnerable some of the other tenants were in the hostel which made me feel unsafe. During the lockdown period, I became very lonely and isolated which took a toll on my mental health. At this point, I decided I had outgrown the hostel and I am currently looking for my own house.
I hope to use my own experiences in my role to help other Estranged students feel safe and supported at college.”
For more information on how Kirklees College works to support its Estranged students, please visit https://www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk/supporting-you/.