Daniel Tuitt graduated from Kingston University with a first class degree and now works as a strategy and growth consultant for a technology firm. He shares his story...
Nobody suggested to Daniel that he should go to university and he didn't know anyone who had been. "I saw something I could get and learn from university that was different and valuable in order to change my situation".
In and out of care throughout his childhood, Daniel has always been interested in business. From 13 years old he was setting up little businesses like a tuck shop. "I have always thought that business is central and linked to everything. I wanted to improve my prospects of work, develop teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills, and meet different people from different backgrounds and different countries."
Daniel is a complete self-starter. As well as his full-time job, he has recently set up Young Connected, a social enterprise to assist young new graduates to succeed.
The only help Daniel did accept at university was his Care Leaver scholarship. This bursary of £1,500 a year made a huge difference as he commuted daily to Kingston from his council flat in Leyton. Accommodation and travel are just two of the additional challenges that Care Leavers face. "If I had taken up university accommodation, I would have had to forfeit my flat" says Daniel. "This would have made me homeless when I left university accommodation and moving out of my borough would have meant I no longer had access to any council support."
Daniel is a great example of how extraordinary care leavers need to be to grasp the opportunity of higher education and how crucial it is to support these young people to succeed. "I think I have motivated people I know to aspire. Not just to university, because it's not the answer for everybody, but just to think about where they want to be and how to get there."