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John Lennon Imagine Awards

What we offer

We believe LJMU's support for students who have experienced being in care or who are estranged from their parents is unique in the UK higher education sector. Thanks to our John Lennon Imagine Awards (JLIA) we are able to offer a package of support tailored to each individual's specific needs.

In the absence of parents and families, LJMU offers this vulnerable group of students a vital safety net, financial assistance and most importantly, year round access to an approachable and expert member of staff who ensures they receive the support they need to succeed and flourish at the University.

Every student who receives a John Lennon Imagine Award is unique, with differing personal circumstances, some more specific or complex than others. They can decide to access all or some of the support we offer and it's this flexibility, combined with dedicated one-to-one support that has proved to be such a successful formula.

Here's an overview of the support we offer:

  • Annual bursary: Eligible students receive a minimum cash bursary of 1,000 per year of their course, in addition to funding awarded by social services.
  • Help with accommodation: We work with our approved student accommodation providers to ensure that care-experienced students have access to high quality and affordable accommodation 365 days a year without the need for a guarantor.
  • Expert and confidential advice: Our dedicated Care Leavers Co-ordinator acts as an advocate for students within the University liaising with other departments and academic teams. They also provide expert guidance on navigating the social services and student funding mazes to ensure students secure all the support they need to live independently and succeed at LJMU. The Co-ordinator also runs regular events on money management, cooking, careers guidance in fact any topic that students' flag up as important to them.

Demand for this tailored support is growing year on year. During the 2009/2010 academic year, 50 students came forward and qualified for the John Lennon Imagine Award 1,000 bursary. The following year, 80 students met the criteria for support. A year later this increased to 90 before doubling in 2012, with 200+ students ticking the 'been in care' box on their UCAS form.

The first cohort of students to receive a John Lennon Imagine Award graduated in July 2012, with four Firsts and five 2.1s among the eighteen graduates, further proving the value of the support offered by LJMU.

LJMU appointed a dedicated Care Leavers' Co-ordinator in 2010. This member of staff now provides the essential one-to-one personal support that these students need. This support is so important that 93% of students receiving a John Lennon Imagine Award stated that they "would not have found it as easy to have successfully completed this year" without the help of this essential member of staff.