Estrangement Week

The aim of this week is to raise awareness of estrangement and start discussion on how we can support students with difficult, or different, family backgrounds. This is open to all students, including those considering estrangement, are estranged, or wanting to find out more on how to support those who are. We also aim to raise awareness of the support on offer at the Guild.

The University is committed to supporting estranged students, click below to see the University pledge

Download Pledge

What's On

Tuesday 23rd November 10-3pm,  we will have a stall in the Forum and will be engaging with Students and talking about how we are supporting estranged students. We have a large pledge for students, staff and societies to sign their support in include estranged students in their events.

Student, staff, and societies will be encouraged to tweet pictures of themselves to their personal/society accounts pledging their support for estranged students

Claire will be on hand to answer any questions students have concerning how The Guild can help estranged students, or students with difficult family relationships, including bursaries, fee waivers, summer accommodation, career and employment initiatives, and support networks.

Come and say hi and show your support.

Wednesday 24th November we will be having a pizza lunch with our estranged students. If you are an estranged student and would like to be involved please email

Watch & Read

Getting Support

ClaireMy names is Claire and in my role I support a variety of underrepresented students to help support them to achieve. Many of the students I support are estranged from their parents/families.

Estrangement solidarity week raises awareness of those students and the University’s pledge to support those students financially and pastorally.

Why do people become estranged from their families?

There can be lots of reasons, but often it is historic abuse, financial and emotional control, religion, violence, sexuality, gender identity are many of the causes of family disagreements and why students will walk away or are turned away from home.

For these students the fear of, and reality of, loneliness, isolation and financial hardship and not having a safe place to return to is always present.

1 in 5 people in the UK will at some point will struggle with family relationships.

Many of the students I support often say “I thought they loved me” or “why can’t they accept me as I am “, “I am really frightened”.

How do we help?

I work alongside all these students helping with finances, accessing counselling, and supporting summer/ Christmas accommodation throughout their degree and further to give them the stability they need to continue with their studies.

Sudden estrangements are the most traumatic and chaotic as wellbeing is paramount and financial implications need addressing urgently.

I am mindful that celebrations, festivities are never quite the same and the isolation is heightened, and the stigma never leaves them. We aim to provide a supportive, encouraging environment where students are accepted and valued. We have events and regular coffee mornings to provide opportunities for individuals to connect.

For me, when a student who has had no family support graduates and succeeds is truly awe inspiring and I feel honoured to have been able to help them.

If you need more information on the support on Estrangement please email

Standalone is the organisation that supports estranged students 


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University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ