Manifestos for Change

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 The Manifestos for Change programme has ended.

What was Manifestos for Change? Manifestos for Change was for student unions and associations. After successfully working with colleges and universities to improve estranged student support through the Stand Alone Pledge, the charity felt it was time to include student unions in this important work, ensuring estranged students and their issues were on the agenda of student representatives. By participating, student union / association officers and staff would work with Stand Alone to identify how their current provision helps estranged students, and where they might improve their support and activities across the four key areas outlined in the framework : welfare, wellbeing, representation and activities. 

Who are estranged students? Estranged students are students who have ceased contact with a key member (or members) of their family. There is information on definitions of estranged students at UCAS, Student Finance England, Student Awards Agency Scotland, Student Finance Wales

Getting Started! If a SU / SA was interested in participating in Manifestos for Change, they used the Framework to help assess how the existing provision was beneficial to estranged students across the given area, and where they might want to work with Stand Alone to improve. 

Getting Involved! Having identified the strengths of current provision and opportunities for growth, the SU/SA filled in the participation form Stand Alone worked with them to finalise what has been submitted and form a Manifesto for Change. Manifestos were valid for two years, during which time Stand Alone kept in touch to help share best practise and support the SU / SA, with a review taking place after the first year to explore the progress being made. 

What else can SUs do to support estranged students? Student unions have several ways to support estranged students. Being conscientious of certain holidays that can have an adverse effect on estranged students and signposting them to appropriate support services is a powerful way of showing them you understand and care about their experience. This can include:

Mother's Day & Father's Day. Given the difficulty of relationships between many estranged students and their parents, these events can bring back bad memories or draw estranged students' minds back to challenging relationships.                                                                                             

Christmas and other cultural and religious holidays. Such occasions are often family focused, and estranged students likely see their friends and fellow students return to family homes for the festivities. This can be difficult, as it reminds estranged students of their own difficult relationships, and isolating if they find themselves alone for that period.

Stand Alone also fully encouraged student unions to participate in Estranged Students Solidarity Week in November, to raise awareness of estrangement, its effect on students, and get involved with national campaigns and events.

Stand Alone developed a series of resources for Estranged Students Solidarity Week:

Which student unions got involved:    

Strath Union, Strathclyde Students' Association     


Cardiff Students' Union

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Manifestos for Change


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