NORTH Ayrshire Council is stepping up its efforts to help support care-experienced young people.

At the final Full Council meeting of 2018, Councillors approved a motion that a number of care-experienced students – living in Council accommodation – will be exempt from paying rent.

It’s a move designed to help the students focus on their coursework, while taking away the financial burden and strain of being in debt to the Council.

Councillor Robert Foster, Cabinet Member for the Health and Social Care partnership, passed the motion which was seconded by Council Leader Joe Cullinane.

Cllr Foster said: “We are a Council that is absolutely determined to help everyone across all our communities. Where possible, we want to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed in their chosen field.

“Being a student can be tough financially and a lot of young people rely on their families to help them out.

“Those from a care background simply don’t have that support available to them. We want to do our bit as Corporate Parents to help ease that burden and give these inspirational young people every chance to succeed.

“We are delighted to be passing this motion which we are confident will assist a number of our care-experienced young people.”

Care-experienced young people can currently apply for a Care Experienced Bursary from the Students Awards Agency for Scotland.

The funds from this Bursary are designed to provide financial support for travel, books and food.

The Council currently has 10 care experienced young people – in receipt of the Bursary - living in Council properties who have a rent liability. Anyone receiving the Bursary will be exempt from paying rent.