Only 36% of universities offer rent guarantor services to students.
Not a problem if you can ask your parents. But a huge problem, if like 16,000 university students in the UK, you’re care-experienced or estranged from your family. Meaning you have no one to ask.
This single, solvable issue stops care-experienced students completing their university courses or prevents them from starting in the first place.
The Unite Foundation approached us to get this issue in the media spotlight to create change within universities. They wanted coverage in the right outlets – but only where we worked alongside care-experienced young people and put their voices front and centre.
We worked with students to co-create the ‘Be Our Guarantor’ campaign to get universities and politicians to sit up and take notice, and crucially to create change.
The campaign made a huge impact. Not only in terms of media coverage, but in real-life outcomes too.
We secured 25 pieces of media coverage in launch week, with a total reach of 94 million. All the coverage led with student voices, including an in depth investigative piece in the Independent (which was also tweeted out with 27.3k views and featured as quote of the day in their daily news email), a large feature on BBC Online and a report on BBC Newsbeat, which led the lunchtime and evening news programmes across BBC Radio 1, 1 Extra and the Asian Network.
There was an increase of 487% in engagement and 457% in reach across Unite Foundation’s social media channels.
Lord Watson contacted the Unite Foundation as a direct result of the campaign, offering to ask a question in the House of Lords about the issue.
And most importantly, 60 staff from 40 different universities signed up for a Unite Foundation event on how to provide a rent guarantor service.