Grow A Leader

Give the gift of education

Help us to make a difference to the life of a vulnerable young person in care and sponsor a scholar.

Our four-year preparatory university programme empowers young people to achieve their potential and aspire to higher education.

Give the gift of education

Donors and funders are invited to events including our Annual Lecture. Regular news and updates are shared and opportunities to meet with guardian scholars. 

First Star Ambassadors are invited to include their name on our sponsors roll of honour.

Welcome to the First Star Family

Our First Star UK programmes are based on a partnership between us, a university and the young person and their carer.


First Star UK recruits a cohort of up to 30 ‘scholars’ at the beginning of their GCSE year (age 14/15) to join the four-year programme of academic support and life skills at a local university or through our online First Star 2U programme.


Scholars stay with the programme up to the age of 18; becoming Guardian Scholars as they graduate from First Star UK. Scholars attend monthly sessions and an annual residential summer school at a university campus.

It costs up to £7500 per scholar, per year, for us to be able to provide our comprehensive programme which includes tailored learning and life skills support, accommodation and travel expenses, excursions and activities, which lead to an accredited Diploma in Learning, Development and Social Engagement.


If you are a UK taxpayer, you can increase the value of your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you.

Whilst you can support a specific programme it is not possible for you to choose an individual scholar or receive personal information about the young person you will be helping.


In keeping with safeguarding, child protection and data protection legislation and policy, all our scholars’ details remain anonymous. You will be sent updates on the cohort’s progress and anonymised data regarding GCSE and post 16 outcomes will be reported.  Anonymised case studies are also prepared annually.


Once scholars graduate and become Guardian Scholars, they can choose to include their name in information.  

Our work would not be possible without thanks to funding and donations from university partners, trusts, grants, private companies, and members of the public.

However, our programmes are not fully funded, and we need your donations to help us support more vulnerable young people across the country.

If you have any further questions and would like to grow a leader, please email [email protected] to find out more. Thank you for your support.

Programme Features

GCSE & A-Level Tutoring

This tackles the first big hurdle for care experienced young people.

We aim to bring scholars up to a level 4 especially in English & Maths to successfully transition to Higher Education


While on the programme scholars will complete level 3& 4 Diplomas in; Learning, Development, Social Engagement and Social Empowerment

These diplomas empower scholars through personal, academic, creative, physical and social challenges.

Life Skills

We prepare our scholars for independent living. Teaching financial management, nutrition, advocacy, their rights and how to manage day to day. 


Strategic thinking, aspiration building and goal setting


Tools needed to gain successful employment. Career planning and goal setting.

Well Being

Regulating emotions and understanding when you need to ask for support

University Partners

Alumni Voices

First star helped me find my way. I’m doing travelling, working and I think I’m at the happiest place I've been in a long time. its nice to have people you can go to, to talk about your problems
First star is a place to build a story with people who are in a similar situation to your own. A place to learn life skills, go on fun activities and create everlasting memories.
I stayed because I feel like I fit in a lot of places, but this is where home is, they actually know every interior part of me. I don’t really tell people about my past and everything it's literally a secret; not a secret because I’m embarrassed, but its just easier to not let people kind of know you, but these people do and I definitely gained confidence