University of Leeds Logo

The Plus Programme

 February 12, 2021 | Jess Mifsud-Bonnici


Giving students extra support to navigate their university experience 

Beyond the incredible financial support that our community of alumni and supporters, like you, provide to students from less privileged backgrounds, your generosity enables us to go the extra mile to support students as they transition into university, progress through their studies – and go onto great things beyond graduation.

Much of this support is channelled through the Plus Programme, which is this year supporting more than 4,500 students including those from low-income backgrounds, those who need to care for loved ones, and those who have been in care or are estranged from their families.


In this episode of the My Leeds Story podcast, Lucy HolehanIn this episode Ed catches up with Lucy Holehan, a Plus Programme Officer at the University. We find out more about Lucy’s role, and exactly how the Plus Programme is making a difference to students at Leeds.

In this episode of the My Leeds Story podcast Ed catches up with Lucy Holehan, a Plus Programme Officer at the University.We find out more about Lucy’s role, and exactly how the Plus Programme is making a difference – particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whether through workshops to develop study and writing skills, social events where they can meet other people with similar life experiences or circumstances, or wellbeing and careers guidance, the Plus Programme gives students extra support tailored to their specific needs and concerns. The programme also provides in-depth careers advice and mentorship for those who might feel a certain profession is out of reach because they don’t have the right connections or cultural capital.

Plus Programme Officer Lucy Holehan says: “Opportunities at university are so important. Part of our role is helping students to take advantage of them. It’s about levelling the playing field – helping students to know they are as deserving as a student from a more traditional background. They deserve the full experience and finance shouldn’t be a barrier.

More than anything, the Plus Programme team is a friendly voice on the end of the phone, dedicated staff who give their time, experience and expertise when responding to the individual needs of students. The programme constantly adapts to meet the needs of our diverse student community, their work informed by a student-led steering group.

Positive feedback confirms the programme’s value: “The team really helped me fit in and feel part of Leeds” said one student. Another added: “It made me feel that I’m surrounded by people who can relate to where I’ve come from to get here.

You can hear more about the work Lucy and her team does to support students here.

Default Image