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Support for Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater students

At the University of Sunderland we aim to make sure that all students have the same full, immersive and enjoyable time while studying at university. We also understand that as a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman or Boater (GTRSB) student, you may have specific questions about university, so we have a dedicated We Care Team to provide support.

Dedicated support for you

If you identify as a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman or Boater (GTRSB) student, our We Care Team can offer individual, bespoke support whenever you need it.

The We Care Team provides personalised support for all GTRSB students. Wendy Price, Head of Widening Access and Participation, is our dedicated contact for GTRSB students and is assisted by Lauren and Safeenah. The We Care Team can offer personalised support based on your individual needs. Meetings are confidential, and your choices are always respected.

The We Care Team can help you throughout your student journey, from accommodation to finance, as well as being a central point of contact for support throughout your studies. They’re happy to accompany you to university events, Open Days, Applicant Days, interviews and graduation, providing you with support wherever and whenever it’s needed.

If you are unsure what you may be eligible for, please contact the We Care Team on 0191 515 2216 or email GTRSB@sunderland.ac.uk.

Our award winning team

If you are a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman or Boater (GTRSB) student, then our We Care Team can help

Every one of our students is different and unique. That’s why we’ll work with you to create a personalised support package.

We can provide personalised support based on your individual needs. This could include the following:

  • Accompany you to university events such as Open Days, individual tours, Applicant Days, interviews and graduation.
  • Act as a central point of contact for you throughout your studies supporting you with any issues or concerns you might have. You can meet with us one-to-one for a coffee and a chat or contact us via phone, email or Microsoft Teams. We can offer support every day that the University is open.
  • Meet with you at the start of each academic year whether you’re new to the University or new to our support.


We offer support with the following:

  • Guaranteed accommodation 52 weeks of the year
  • Student finance and funding
  • Finding employment and part-time work
  • Academic queries such as taking time out of your course
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Applying for financial support as part of our scholarships and bursaries offer
  • Social events and opportunities to meet other GTRSB students and staff


We aim to support you in making informed choices, settle in quickly at university, enjoy your student experience and achieve your potential. Meetings are confidential, and your choices are always respected.

A logo that reads

96% of students who received support from the We Care Team* rate our support as good or very good.

*Data from 51 respondents to University of Sunderland We Care Survey 2022.

GTRSB into Higher Education Pledge

The University of Sunderland was the first university nationally to sign the Gypsy Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater into Higher Education Pledge in January 2021. Signing the pledge demonstrates the University’s commitment to support GTRSB students into and through Higher Education.

Read more about the University of Sunderland signing the pledge.

Find out more by visiting the GTRSB into Higher Education website.

How do I access this support?

When you enrol online as part of the University registration process, we will ask if you identify as a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman or Boater student. This helps us to identify students who may need our support. The GTRSB Support Team are the only people who have access to this information. We respect your confidentiality and no one else in the University will be informed unless you choose to tell them.

If you choose not to share this information during enrolment then you can contact Wendy Price, or another member of the GTRSB Team on 0191 515 2216 or via email at GTRSB@sunderland.ac.uk to let us know that you are a GTRSB student.

Your studies and exams

A degree is challenging but rewarding, so we know that you may experience feeling overwhelmed from time to time during your studies. We can help you throughout any particularly stressful or difficult times by:

  • Meeting up for a coffee. Sometimes you just need to step away from the books and have a chat with a friendly face who will listen.
  • Speaking to your tutor or Programme Leader on your behalf if you want us to.
  • Signposting you to relevant support services who can offer support.

Graduation and beyond

Our support doesn’t end when you graduate. We’re here to help with your next steps including everything from interview preparation to finding accommodation if you need it. Just get in touch and we’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

Graduation

We can offer you support in the run up to and on the day of your graduation ceremony. Just let us know how we can help. We will cover the cost of your graduation gown and photo package, and even attend your academic awards ceremony to see you graduate, if you would like us to. We’ll also contact you a few weeks before your graduation to check whether you need any support from us.

Dedicated Careers and Employability Support

Sunderland Futures are here to support you with careers and employability advice. Whether you are looking for graduate opportunities or a part-time job over the summer, get in touch and we can refer you for one-to-one support from the team.

Financial support

We understand that some students may encounter money worries at some point during their studies, but you’re not alone.

You may be entitled to:

University of Sunderland Bursary

As a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman or Boater (GTRSB) student, you may be eligible for the University of Sunderland Bursary of £3,000. To find out if you are eligible and information on how to apply please see the University of Sunderland Bursary 2023/23 guidance notes.

If you have any questions or need any further guidance you can contact Wendy and the We Care Team on 0191 515 2216 or by email at GTRSB@sunderland.ac.uk.

University of Sunderland scholarships and bursaries

We have a range of scholarships and bursaries available, so get in touch if you need any help or advice in understanding what you may be entitled to. Find out more about what scholarships and bursaries we offer.

For further information or advice, please contact our Scholarships and Bursaries Team on 0191 515 2865 or by email at scholarships@sunderland.ac.uk.

University Hardship Loan (UK Students)

This is a university fund to help UK students who face unexpected costs, higher than expected costs, or face serious financial problems for other reasons. Applications can be made once you have enrolled. You will need to provide supporting evidence for your application to be considered for an award. Priority groups of students for assistance from the fund include students with children, students who are unable to work, and final year students experiencing financial difficulties.

For further information or advice, please contact our Student Financial Guidance Team on 0191 515 2284 or email at studentfinancialguidance@sunderland.ac.uk.

Useful contacts

There is lots of useful information available for Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater (GTRSB) students who are considering university. These websites may be useful to find out more about how they can be supported to make their application and transition to higher education.

Contact us

You can contact Wendy and the We Care Team on 0191 515 2216 or email GTRSB@sunderland.ac.uk.