This week from 7th-13th June, it's National Carer's Week and we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase the support available to our student carers here at Newcastle University.
First of all, what is a Carer?
A carer is defined as, ‘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’ (Carers Trust 2020).
What support is available to student carers?
We have been hard at work this academic year creating new initiatives to support our student carers. Developments include such things as:
- The Student Carers Group which is a partnership with Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Newcastle Carers.
- The Carers Passport which is a package of support and adjustments for students with a caring responsibility.
- A partnership working with the NU Carers Network which offers a space for staff and postgraduate research students.
What is the Student Carers Group?
The Student Carers Group is an opportunity for students with a caring role to meet their peers, share experiences and advice, socialise, and meet informally with staff from University Student Health and Wellbeing Services and Newcastle Carers, who will support delivery of the group. The group is open to undergraduate and postgraduate taught students and occurs on the last Wednesday of each month during term-time between 1-2:30pm.
Past groups have included guest speakers covering areas such as welfare and financial support, fun activities such as quizzes and creative writing challenges, and dialogue with members about the future shape of the group. For more information please contact Kevin Johnson.
Student Carers Group Feedback
We have received some very positive feedback so far and would like to share some of the experiences of students who attend the Student Cares Group:
“I’m a mature student and a carer for my young son. Trying to juggle student life with significant caring responsibilities is hard but the support has been amazing and has helped me manage my studies and home life".
“Anything that offers peer support for people who have caring responsibilities is really valuable”.
“It is really good to hear from people who are in the same situation, they can understand what is going on”.
Student carers may also be entitled to a Carers Passport. The passport is a package of adjustments for carers and in order to qualify a range of factors will be taken in to consideration. The Carers Passport is developed in collaboration with the student and outlines the key impacts of the caring role, identifies some academic adjustments, and is shared with the School. More information regarding the Carers Passport will be covered in the Student Carers Group and information can also be found on the Student Health and Wellbeing webpages.
What else might be available?
The Student Health and Wellbeing Service offer a range of emotional support including talking therapies and workshops on areas such as Introduction to Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Understanding How to Attend to Stress and Anxiety. There are also various opportunities to exercise via the Sports & Fitness Centre and explore opportunities to connect via NUSU Societies.
To find out more about Disability Support at Newcastle University, please click here.
Urgent Wellbeing Support
If you or someone that you know requires emotional wellbeing support, please contact us on 0191 208 3333 or go to our Mental Wellbeing pages for further information about what support we can offer.
If you think you are in need of urgent support please click here for further information.
We have launched a new mental health support network called TalkCampus. It’s a free to download app where you can talk with other students from around the world if you’re struggling and worried about your mental health.