Helena Kennedy Foundation

The Foundation exists to overcome social injustice by providing financial bursaries, mentoring and support to disadvantaged students from the further and adult education sectors, enabling them to complete their studies in higher education and move on successfully into employment or further studies.

The Foundation's students typically include:

  • Students labelled as failures by the schools system, often because of undiagnosed learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
  • Students lacking parental and family support.
  • Students who have made unsuitable career and course choices early on in their life and want to retrain and acquire higher level skills.
  • Students who left school at 16, and found themselves in a string of unrewarding and low paid jobs, before recognising the need, as more mature adults, to obtain higher level skills and a degree to improve their job prospects and quality of life.
  • Students in transition, emotionally and geographically. These include:
  • Ex-offenders struggling to break the cycle of re-offending
  • Ex-alcoholics or drug addicts who have realised that education can support their rehabilitation process
  • Victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence struggling to lift their personal lives out of misery through education
  • Those fleeing from persecution and torture and seeking refuge or political asylum in the UK
  • Students with a history of severe health problems, physical disabilities, or emotional difficulties, sometimes as a result of a serious accident that has radically altered the way they live their lives and for whom education is a life saver
  • Casualties of oppression, discrimination and injustice, often on the grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation
  • Students living with mental health difficulties
  • Students who are lone parents, on low incomes and with low skills levels, many of whom come from poor, working class and black and minority ethnic communities.
  • It is not untypical for the students supported by the Foundation to be coping with several of the above challenges simultaneously.