Sheffield Hallam University has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Leadership Management Awards (THELMAs). The awards aim to highlight the work done by teams, often out of the limelight, to lay the groundwork which allows institutions to achieve success.

We have been shortlisted for an award in the Outstanding Student Services category. Our team provides outstanding support to all students during their studies and we are one of only thirty-eight universities who have taken the Stand Alone Pledge; a commitment to support students who are studying without the support or approval of a family network.

The university provides pre-entry support in the form of outreach, information and application support for students estranged from their families, links to homeless shelters and a dedicated Vulnerable Groups Co-ordinator. Support is also provided during study such as one to one guidance and peer to peer support as well as priority access to financial support schemes. The team ensures a joined-up approach by working with other teams in areas such as accommodation, employability and outreach as well as student funding who provide Student Finance England Guidance appointments.

We are pleased that we will have the opportunity to share our ethos towards supporting students through this nomination but we also recognise that we can always do more to understand the experiences of our diverse student population. We believe the award nomination is testimony to the brilliance of our students, who, through their engagement with our services, help us to better understand and respect their experiences, and tailor our support to suit their circumstances. We also acknowledge that there are students who choose not to take up support and those for whom we need to try harder to help in the future.

The winners will be announced in June, and we’ll keep you up-to-date with how we do. Until then, we are already planning our support offer for next year to make sure we continue providing outstanding support.