Posted on Fri 20 Jan 2017 at 11:47 by Holly Waddell
On the 26th January we will be kicking off our Student Carers Day Digital Campaign running alongside The Carers Trusts' national campaign, Young Carers Day. Look out for the graphics on the digital screens in the Students Union and online! The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of what the definition of “carer” is, hopefully allowing more student carers identify themselves as one and to come forward to get the help they need. This is because research has shown that many people who care in fact don’t realise they are a carer, as they don’t know what the definition is.
Once students know what a carer is and that they may be one, we hope to engage them in the student carer community that we are trying to build here at Newcastle. This will be through launching a new webpage full of useful resources as well as stories from other student carers, and by promoting the already existing Facebook group which aims to offer peer-to-peer support to student carers. I believe that there are currently many student carers who do not know that they are carers, and therefore are not being properly supported or even know what support is out there. I hope that this campaign will help people to understand what a carer is and inform potential carers about the support that is available to them.
The final stage of this campaign is to propose a motion at council on the 16th February. This motion will be to mandate the Welfare & Equality Officer and the Student Parents Guardians & Carers Officer to approach wellbeing about the inadequate support currently available for student carers at Newcastle University and what changes there needs to be. Since the motion will come at the end of the campaign I am hoping that the community of carers that it builds up will be able to support the motion at council. Furthermore, it will be a good way to show the university that there is a strong community of student carers at Newcastle University, as well what the issues they face are and what support they need.
So I am hoping that by the end of this campaign there will be improve support for student carers at Newcastle University but also that more student carers feel able to come forward and access it.