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Stephen Creighton

Newcastle, UK

BA (Hons) Physical Education and Youth Sport

Stephen Creighton, 18, is studying BA (Hons) Physical Education and Youth Sport. After losing his mother to cancer and becoming estranged from his father, Stephen has had what he describes as a “topsy turvy” few years, and now hopes to build a solid foundation for his future.

My mother died of lung cancer in 2013, and I became estranged from my father in the summer of 2017. Since then I have lived in a combination of a hostel, foster care and supported accommodation.

For me the best thing about coming to the University of Sunderland is meeting so many incredible people on my course. They are a great group of people, and have made my time here even better than I expected.

The course was a good fit for me, but one of the main reasons I chose to study at the University of Sunderland is because of the support that was offered by the We Care Team.”

The University of Sunderland’s We Care Team meet with each of the University’s care experienced and estranged students to produce a bespoke support plan. This is based on the student’s individual needs and can include help with finding accommodation 52 weeks a year, wellbeing support, additional financial support and finding part time work.

Stephen admits it has not all been smooth going in his first year at University, but it has been worth every minute.

“Settling in was tough for me. I found the environment of university hard because of my past, and being in a new place brought some challenges. I was unsure about whether to go to university or not, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Published 3 April 2020

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