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We are delighted to announce that the Realise Project will be relaunching in October 2021, with some exciting educational opportunities for care-experienced individuals in Cambridgeshire. Read on to find out more about the events and work we are planning.

If you are a care-experienced or estranged student considering university and you have some questions you’d like answering, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Similarly, if you are a foster carer or social worker and would like to know more about our work, please get in touch with the Realise Team (realise@admin.cam.ac.uk). You can also sign up to our newsletter for further news.

Please note, to cover the cost of travel to attend events at the University, we offer a Travel Fund for those aged 16 or above who are currently in local authority care or from a care background. 


Pre-application mentoring and support

We recognise that early intervention is very important to encourage students onto Higher Education. We work with care-experienced students in the Cambridgeshire area, offering face-to-face events and virtual mentoring for a group of Year 9s. We hope to mentor them up to the age of 18, supporting them to consider their academic and vocational choices.

Mentoring will take place once a fortnight online, with a face-to-face meeting each holiday. We have based our project planning on 'Theraplay'. The importance of fun when learning is scientifically proven so we intend to have lots of it!

Some of the typical activities we might host are listed below:

  • A tour and 'Introduction to University' workshop
  • A visit to the Astronomy department to explore the stars
  • University-focused games
  • A meal at a University College

Whilst we cannot guarantee a place, if you are aware of a student that you think would be eligible to take part in the Realise Project, please do be in touch (realise@admin.cam.ac.uk).

The Foundation Year at Cambridge

If you want to study courses in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences and circumstances have prevented you from realising your academic potential, this is an opportunity not to miss!

The Cambridge Foundation Year is designed to help you realise your academic potential through a full-time course fully embedded in the University. In order to apply for the Cambridge Foundation Year, you must meet eligibility criteria – if you are care experienced, you will automatically be eligible for this opportunity!

Find out more about the Foundation Year course on our website, read about the next steps in your applicant journey, or sign up to the Foundation Year mailing list.

For any question you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact: rachel.osborne@admin.cam.ac.uk or grace.sullivan@aru.ac.uk


Foster Carer Fortnight, May 2022

Connect, Enjoy, Discover! Explore your local university and discover the support available for students with care experience!

Foster carers are invited to visit the University of East Anglia or the University of Cambridge during Foster Care Fortnight in May 2022. Meet friendly university staff and students, find out all about university options and possibilities, and discover how we can work together to support your young people in their education. These events are completely free and lunch is provided.

Choose the date and location to suit you:

  • University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ - Thursday, 12 May 2022 (10:00-14:00)
  • University of Cambridge, Homerton College, Cambridge CB2 8PH - Wednesday, 18 May 2022 (10:00-14.00)

Complete the online registration to confirm your place and we will be in touch ahead of the day to provide more details.

These events are suitable for those fostering students who are at high school, sixth form or college. The same programme will be repeated on each day and will include:

  • Information about student finance, including specific funding for students with experience of care
  • Information about support services and university accommodation
  • The opportunity to meet current university staff and students, and chat with other foster carers

UEA and University of Cambridge are proud to participate in Foster Care Fortnight 2022. This year’s theme is ‘fostering communities’, and both universities are committed to encouraging and supporting care leavers to consider attending higher education. Check out the IncludingMe programme at UEA and the Realise programme at Cambridge for information about other activities available for students, carers, and professionals.

Contact Liz at includingme@uea.ac.uk (UEA) or Rachel at realise@admin.cam.ac.uk (Cambridge) if you have any questions. Find out more about other Foster Care Fortnight activities at www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk.

Sign up to a Realise mailing list

To be kept up-to-date with the latest Realise events and opportunities, sign up to one of our mailing lists:

Cambridge life as a care leaver/estranged student

Contact Us

Advice and support for care leavers and estranged students:

The Realise Team
T 01223 333315
E realise@admin.cam.ac.uk