Parents and carers information for adult children attending university

Starting Out

University is an exciting new chapter in many people's lives. Studying for a degree will broaden research skills and offer graduates wider employment opportunities and career paths that may not be available to non-graduates.

New students sometimes require additional support in managing their time, as although class time is likely to be less than when they were at school, even first year university students are expected to carry out independent research and further reading totalling 30 hours every week. Therefore we recommend students should not work or undertake more than 15 hours of other commitments per week.

Before students arrive

All students will receive a welcome pack which contains lots of helpful information about their academic studies and support available. Before arriving, get them to brush up on some key life skills. Knowing how to make a couple of basic food dishes, how to do weekly shop, budget their finances and how to do their laundry will allow them more time to get to know other people.

Arriving at University

When a student goes to university it is often their first prolonged time away from home or sharing space with non-family members. Some students settle quickly. They may keep in touch and let you know that things are going well, or they may contact you less than you'd expect.

This is not the case for everyone. Some students will feel homesick, miss friends, family and familiar comforts. This feeling usually fades as they get used to their new environment and start to make new friends and should not concern you unduly.

For some students though the transition proves more challenging, however, there is support available. Student Support run settling in workshops in the halls of residences during the first couple of weeks and we would encourage all students to attend if they are struggling to settle.

Encouraging them to try new things and to develop new skills can help some students to settle in and meet new people. Beds SU runs a large number of sports teams and societies. Find out more about Beds SU

Support for students at the University of Bedfordshire

Our professional teams support students in difficulty:

  • Student Engagement Advisors: Provide confidential and impartial advice on a range of subjects including personal problems, difficulties attending classes or complex problems. They are the team to speak to if you want advice on the best way forward.
  • Community and Faith: Provide pastoral support for students of any faith and none. They also offer a wide variety of opportunities for students to relax and meet new people.
  • Counselling: Professional counselling for students who are experiencing any problems of a personal or emotional nature that may be interfering with academic work and personal life.
  • Mental Health Advisors: One in four people experience some sort of mental health difficulty in their life, particularly during stressful times such as starting university or moving away from home. If a student feels that they may be experiencing some difficulties with their mental health or have been given a formal diagnosis then Mental Health Support can help.
  • Student Money Advice: Student Money Advice team offer confidential financial advice, information and support. For students with money worries, our advisers are able to give general advice on a range of issues and will point students towards possible alternative sources of funding that may be available.
  • Beds SU Welfare and Advice Service: Offers impartial and confidential advice about any problems students may have, whether it's with the University, assignments or exams, estate agents or any health and welfare issues.
  • Personal Academic Tutor: All new students at the University have a personal academic tutor (PAT) in their department who can help with academic difficulties.

If you are a parent or carer or professional working with young people, find out information about local services young people and/or parents and carers can access and gain advise and support.

  • YouTurn Futures - Supported Pathway Service is a service in Central Beds. They support young people to move away from serious violence, knife crime, gangs, organised criminality and also support those who are at risk of being exploited through these activities. Visit YouTurn Futures

  • Link to Change - is a charity offering support for children and young people aged 7 to 26 years who are at risk of or have been victims of exploitation. Visit Link to Change
  • Multiply from the Employment and Skills Academy - who offer a range of free workshops in person and online to help give confidence in key skills. View or download workshop details [PDF]

  • Home-Start Central Bedfordshire - is a family support charity that offers a number of services. Home-Start are looking for SEND Parent Mentors who have experience of parenting a child with special educational needs or disabilities to join their volunteer team. Download their leaflet to find out how to volunteer as a SEND parent mentor [PDF]

  • Central Beds SENDIASS give free and impartial information, advice and support about special educational needs and disabilities for children, young people, parents and carers in Central Beds. For more information about their service, visit Central Beds SENDIASS

  • SEND Health Focus Week for Parents, Carers and Professionals - provided by Bedfordshire Community Health Services, ELFT and Luton Children and Adults Community Health Services. A range of talks will be held on topics including:
    • ADHD
    • SEND and Dietetics
    • The Positives of Neurodiversity
    • Young Peoples’ Transition to Adult Services
    • Supporting Learning with SEND
    • Autism in Girls and SEND
    • Neurodiversity and Managing Puberty

  • The Advocacy Service at Central Bedfordshire Council is available for children and young people to make sure their voice is heard and listened to in the decisions adults are making. To contact the service or to request copies of their information leaflets, email or call 0300 300 8787.

  • Community Drop-in Coffee Mornings - First Thursday of the month. 10am-12pm at Christ the King Church Hall, Harrowden Road, Bedford MK42 0SP.
    Open to all. A variety of organisations are involved in the provision of these free coffee mornings. People can access free support and information, or just pop in for a chat with one of the attending organisations and a free cuppa. Different organisations and charities attend each month. Social Prescribers, a Maternity Social Prescriber and a Health and Wellbeing Coach are available for confidential advice and support.

  • Early Advice Sessions with the Speech and Language Therapist from Bedford Borough’s Children’s Centres - Fifteen minute phone consultations are available for parents/carers to discuss concerns and receive advice and strategies to try if they have concerns about their child’s speech. Face to face appointments can be offered following this consultation if appropriate. Find out more about Early Advice Sessions

  • Children’s Centre Referral Form - Use this link when referring to the Children Centre. Referrals will not be accepted unless on this completed form. Complete the referral form

  • Child to Parent Abuse (CPA) Support - PEGS is an organisation that aims to reduce the impact of CPA by helping parents, training frontline professionals, impacting policy and raising awareness. The website has dedicated areas to support both parents and professionals. Visit PEGS

  • #Friends Can Tell - This project is for 13-24 year old girls, young women and non-binary people if they are concerned about their own or a friend’s relationship. It is also for those working with young people and are struggling to know how to talk about relationship abuse. Find out how to start a conversation or what to say as well as links and resources and support at the Your Best Friend Project

  • MIND BMLK - Crisis Cafes (for over 18s) and Young Person’s Sanctuaries (for 14 to 17 year olds) which are safe non judgmental spaces for anyone finding themselves in crisis or mental distress in the evenings. Visit Mind BLMK

  • CHUMS Summer Term Virtual Workshops - Families must be registered to a GP surgery in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire or Luton to be accepted on to a workshop. Families must sign up at least a week before the workshop they wish to attend and places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. See the list of CHUMS Psychoeducation Workshops

    Workshop are as follows:
    • Teenage Self-esteem (parents and young people 13+), Monday 12 June, 4pm-6pm
    • Teenage Sleep Workshop (children aged 13+), Tuesday 20 June, 4pm-6pm
    • Parent Self-esteem Workshop (children aged 12 and under), Tuesday 4 July, 5pm-7pm
    • Secondary Resiliency Workshop (children aged 13+), Monday 27 June, 4pm-6pm
    • Transition Workshops
    • Lower to Middle transitions (parent only), Wednesday 9 August 5pm-7pm
    • Primary-Secondary/Middle-Upper transitions (parent and young person), Friday 18 August 9.30am-11.30am

  • Young Minds Yoga - Starting 31 May, Wednesdays from 4pm-4.45pm at The Upstairs Studio, Robinson Pools and Fitness, Park Avenue, Bedford MK40 2JZ. First session free, then £3 per session. A welcoming and safe space for young people (ages 15-19) to explore the anxiety and stress reducing benefits of Yoga through movement and relaxation. Supported by CAMHS staff and mental health first aid trained staff. The sessions take place

    • Step 1: No need to book, just turn up at Robinson Pool 10-15 mins before the sessions starts*
    • Step 2: Look for the Mindful Sport banner in the reception area and meet our team who will guide straight upstairs to the calm and quiet studio.
    • Step 3: Register and pay to take part with our yoga instructor and grab a mat and relax.

    For further information, please email or call: 01234 718829.

  • Revive – Emotional Well-Being Women’s Support Group at Leighton Buzzard Children’s Centre. This small and safe group is for women with low moods or anxiety. Women can come along, have a cuppa and chat about how they are feeling with other like-minded women, as well as family workers. Children are welcome and activities will be provided. The group is held for 5 weeks at a time, the next one being from Thursday 8 June to Thursday 6 July, 10am-11.30am. To book either message via Facebook or call 0300 300 8880.

  • Teenage Mental Health Information Session for Parents/Carers - Monday, 12 June, 6pm-8pm, Astral Park, Johnson Drive, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4AY, Book on Eventbrite

  • Wellbeing Wednesday Hub - 48 Sandringham Drive, Houghton Regis LU5 5UP, every Wednesday from 10am. It includes:
    • Food Pantry for anyone in need courtesy of the United Drop in Centre & Meeting Needs 2017 (no charge) (10am-1pm)
    • Free Mindful Movement Session available to everybody regardless of health and mobility issues brought to you by Lessons in Movement (1pm-2pm).


Luton campus & other campuses
Level 2, Campus Centre
Luton campus

24/7 SiD Online (student login)


Student Information Desk


Student Information Desk (SiD)

0300 300 0042

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday - Thursday
    9:00 – 17:00
  • Friday
    9:00 – 16.30