Young adult carers and university
It can be very challenging for all young people going to university and if you are also juggling a caring role alongside your studies, it can create additional complications. National research shows that young adult carers are 4 times more likely to drop out of university if they don’t have the right support in place - so don’t struggle alone!
Many students choose a university near to their family home so that they can still continue to care for a family member or friend. Other carers may move away from home and provide emotional support over the phone and travel home at weekends or during holidays, either way it can have a big impact on student life.
Newcastle Carers provides support to students who either look after someone who lives in Newcastle or who are caring for someone who lives in another locality. It can be useful for carers who have moved to Newcastle for their studies to access support from us instead of from a Carers Centre or other organisation at their home address.
Newcastle University and Northumbria University have recently began to look at what support they can offer to students with caring responsibilities. This is still being developed and both hope to have a strong offer of support by the academic year 2016/17. When you are applying to university it can be helpful to let them know about your caring role and talk to the university about any additional support that you may need. The sort of additional support that you may be able to access includes flexibility with deadlines, financial bursaries and additional one-to-one support to help you to discuss any help you feel you need. The university will keep your information confidential unless you ask them to share it with anyone.
If you are going away to university and are worried about how to get additional support for the person that you care for whilst you are away, you may want to get a carers assessment to discuss what help could be available from your local authority. More information about young adult carers and university can be found on Carers Trust website here.
Students Unions can be a great place to meet other students who also have a caring role. Both Northumbria University and Newcastle University have student representatives who are responsible for student carers.
Newcastle university students union has a Facebook group for students with caring responsibilities, see their page here. They hold events for student carers through-out the year, speak to your SU rep or contact our Young Adult Carer Worker Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about upcoming events.
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