The Hub for Success aims to help more people from care into further and higher education

Date posted

21 February 2024


The team behind an innovative service, which supports care experienced people along their journey in education, is marking its fifth anniversary – having already transformed hundreds of lives.

Since it was set up in February 2018, The Hub for Success (Support for University and College for Care Experienced in South-East Scotland) has provided one-to-one support to 628 care experienced learners and responded to 1,241 enquiries.

The project was established to address low rates of higher education admission and retention for people who have spent time in care, which were initially highlighted by Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) research.

It offers individual and impartial advice on topics such as courses, accommodation, and finance to help them get in, stay in, or return to education.

Among the students it has supported in the last five years, 43% got into further or higher education – significantly higher than the national average for care experienced learners.Hub for Success student ambassador Alistair Stewart

The Hub has since evolved from being solely a one-stop support service, taking on a more strategic role of amplifying the voices of care experienced learners and tackling the barriers they face.

ENU hosts its team of staff members – which has grown to five – while working alongside fellow core partners Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University, the Open University in Scotland, Edinburgh College, West Lothian College, Newbattle Abbey College, and City of Edinburgh Council.

A recent independent evaluation of the Hub for Success found it has already “implemented the vast majority of its intended work,” adding that it could act as a model to be replicated in other parts of Scotland. It was also praised by First Minister Humza Yousaf as “vital” to improving the lives of care experienced people during a visit earlier this month.

Staff, partners, and some of the learners who have benefited from the service were among those who marked the Hub’s first five years of work during an anniversary event on Tuesday 20 February.

Alistair Stewart (pictured above) is one of the Hub’s student ambassadors – and is now completing a degree at Edinburgh Napier University. He said: “Our colleges and universities are stronger if each and every learner has what they need to thrive and succeed.

“This applies even more so to those with care experience, who often don’t have the familial supports or scaffolding of support around them.

“The Hub helped with course planning, financial planning and giving me encouragement and courage to believe that I could do this. They then helped me with the ‘staying in’ part, with a range of practical, emotional and relationship-based support.

“Three years later I am about to graduate and have been offered a masters. I have also been promoted to senior student ambassador with the Hub for Success and now take a role in designing and delivering our work.”Edinburgh Napier University Principal Andrea Nolan with Hub for Success manager Lorraine Moore

Lorraine Moore, Hub for Success manager (pictured below, right) said: “What a journey the last five years have been.

“The time has been packed full of learning from the care experienced people we serve, and the student ambassadors I am privileged to have as colleagues. 

“No journey is ever straightforward, no path even, but this is a journey I would gladly take again, as I know I would continue to learn. 

“From one care experienced character to all you others, thank you.”

Advisory board member, and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, Professor Andrea Nolan (pictured below, left) said: “I’m in awe of the talent, tenacity, and motivation our care experienced students show.  

“We are delighted to have them join the Edinburgh Napier community, and I take particular joy in hearing about their achievements.

“I hope the impact of the Hub will mean many more care experienced learners can join and continue their educational journey with us as a platform for building successful and fulfilling careers.”

Are you care experienced? Interested in getting back into learning? The Hub can be contacted here.