City of Glasgow College aiming for student carers’ award

Chloe Lynch is one of almost 900 students at City of Glasgow College with caring responsibilities.

A carer is someone who cares unpaid for a family member or friend who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

There are an estimated 759,000 adult carers and 29,000 young carers (under 18 years) in Scotland. The value of unpaid care provided by these carers is in the region of £36 billion a year.

Chloe is an HND Legal Studies student and has had support from a range of measures the college has in place for all its student carers. She said:

“I have been caring for my mum since primary school so, although it is a challenge, it has been my normality growing up. I feel as though having caring responsibilities has held back my confidence in my own abilities. But the help and support I’ve had from many staff at the college reassures me that I can do well with my studies. I also have help focusing on my mental wellbeing to ensure I’m in a good place to be successful in my career.”

Carers often experience additional challenges because of their caring responsibilities. Student carers are recognised as a group at risk of not achieving their full potential, from aspirations through to successful outcomes and employment.

Aidan Hudner is a careers advisor and named contact for student carers at City of Glasgow College. He said:

“City of Glasgow College proactively identifies student carers from enrolment so that we can offer any support they might need. We do this to help them successfully complete their studies, and also to ensure positive health and wellbeing. 

“We’re now aiming to achieve the Going Further for Student Carers: Recognition Award which helps colleges support student carers, and rewards good practice. Achieving this award sends a positive message to our student carers that they are recognised, supported and will be given a fair chance to be succeed. It underlines that equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of all that we do.”

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council and administered by the Carers’ Trust, the Going Further for Student Carers: Recognition Award was launched in March last year at City of Glasgow College.

Designed to improve the experience of student carers studying at college, it incentivises and encourages colleges across Scotland to adopt a sustainable, whole institution approach to identify, support and report on student carers.