We have recently been awarded the The Carers Federation Quality Standard in Carer Support.
As a college we strive to ensure all students have access to a great education and there are no barriers to them reaching their potential. This certificate is in recognition of the work we do with young carers. The quality standard is awarded to organisations who work to raise awareness, remove barriers, develop policies and procedures and provide access to support for those in a caring role.
The following interview was carried out by Iqra Abukar, a member of the Student Council Equality and Diversity team. Iqra met with Lisa Barton, Safeguarding Officer, to find out more about how the college supports young carers.
I: What is a young carer?
L: A young carer is somebody who looks after a family member like a sibling or a parent who has a disability, mental illness or addiction. What they do is above and beyond helping around the house.
I: What barriers can young carers face?
L: Young people in this situation may find it difficult to balance their caring responsibilities and studying. They may struggle at times with their mental health and find it hard to find relaxing time for themselves.
I: What do we do as a college?
L: As a college we don’t want any of our students to face educational inequalities or to feel underappreciated. We want to provide opportunities like Young Carers Week to celebrate and thank carers for everything they do. As a college we issue young carers cards so staff can be made aware of the students extra responsibilities. We provide and signpost support for young carers to access. Also we make sure our staff are trained and understand the role of a young carer.
I: After interviewing Lisa, I began to fully understand what it means to be a young carer and how important their roles are in our community. I felt inspired to learn more and do my own research to appreciate the work young carers do. Several videos later, I learned we are surrounded by people who are doing so much for others, and we might not even know it. It’s very inspiring how people can stay so strong and resilient around the clock and I’m happy to have been able to learn more about this.
Here are Iqra’s video recommendations:
Life as a young carer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTSWpPpZiw8
A day in the life of a young carer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bZ5hneos24
Following the interview the Student Council have decided to include the Carers Trust ‘Young Carers Action Day’ as a key event in their calendar. They will be working towards raising awareness and other projects in 2021.
If you are a current student and would like more information or think you may be a young carer, do speak to your Progress Tutor.
Photography credit to Ibrahim Hussain, Student Council PR Officer (Public Relations)