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Going Higher for Student Carers Award Journey

Are you a student carer? Find out more about support available.

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University of Stirling: Going Higher for Student Carers Award Journey

Are you or someone you know student carer, and do you know what support is available to you? What even makes someone a carer?

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. We know that a lot of student carers don’t even realise they are one, so we just wanted to put this out there for you or anyone you know who is in this position, especially as we have been living through the pandemic! Please take a look at the University’s Student Carers Policy on the website (link here) if you think you or someone you know could be considered a carer.

Your VP Education, Lexi, has been working in collaboration with the University towards Carers Trust Scotland's Going Higher for Student Carer's Award scheme. Recently she was doing some work with student carers, for example holding a focus group earlier this semester, which is contributing to our Going Higher for Student Carers Award journey. There have been some really interesting findings, ranging from how we deliver our clubs and societies activities and freshers events, to the academic support provided by the University, to parking spaces and seminar times. We will be publishing a full report in May of the results of the Focus Groups, which will include our findings and what action plan the VP Education (Lexi for now, and Calum starting in June) will be following to help support student carers and how we can help enhance their University of Stirling experience!

Part of the VP Education's role is to sit on various groups and committees in the University, and one of these is the Student Carers Group, and going forward this group is hoping to focus its efforts on the following key areas:

1) Data collection: increasing our analysis of the carer data collated and promoting this more widely.

2) Training: ensuring that training is available to all staff. 

3) Disclosure: continuing to scope the opportunities for where carers can disclose their carer status and how this is shared confidentially and effectively with key support staff in professional services and faculties. 

4) Student Carer Engagement: ensuring that student carers at Stirling are at the front and centre of this work. The group should not just listen to and consult with student carers, but create a space where they can lead the agenda. 

The group is driven by the desire to ensure the positive experiences of carer students and applicants at the University of Stirling. We want to raise awareness of what it means to be a student carer, and encourage conversations across the institution about what support is available for their individual circumstances. We would welcome any interest, feedback or discussions with students across the institution who may have an interest. Please do feel free to get in touch with Lexi at education.union@stir.ac.uk

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