West College Scotland has become the UK’s first college to take the Stand Alone Pledge, a demonstration of the College’s commitment to supporting estranged students across the West region and beyond.

Stand Alone is a charity that exists to support the 1 in 5 people of all ages across the UK who become estranged or disowned from their family or a key family member at some point throughout their lives. Research by the charity has found that estranged students are 3 times more likely to drop out of education than the average student due to pressure, stress and isolation.

The Stand Alone Pledge is an initiative to promote greater awareness and support for estranged students in education. The College joins nearly 40 UK universities – including Glasgow, Strathclyde and the West of Scotland – by signing the Stand Alone Pledge and becoming a “champion institution”.

West College Scotland will now work closely with Stand Alone to promote the College’s best practice to other champion institutions and to continuously improve its own support for estranged students by learning from others.

Audrey Cumberford, the Principal of West College Scotland, said:

“At West College Scotland, we are committed to continuously supporting our students achieve their potential and improving the student journey. By taking the Stand Alone Pledge, we renew that commitment to our estranged students.

“We are delighted to be the first college in the UK to take the pledge and look forward to working with Stand Alone and our colleagues across the further and higher education sectors to continue to break down barriers to education for our students.”

Susan Mueller, Project Director of Stand Alone, added:

“I am delighted that West College Scotland has taken the Stand Alone Pledge to continuously develop support for estranged students – the first college in the UK to do so.

“I very much look forward to working with Audrey and the staff at the College, now and in the future, to ensure estranged students have the support to succeed in further and higher education.”


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X