Parents, Guardians & Carers Officer

Harriet Stanway-Gordon

Harriet Stanway-Gordon was elected into the voluntary role of Parents, Guardians & Carers Officer by students at the Student Elections in March 2020. Harriet will be succeeded in June 2021 by Katy Eldrett.

About the Role

This role represents all Newcastle University students who are a parent, guardian and/or carer. The student in this position will also actively campaign for, and be centrally involved in, the development of the Students’ Union’s and University’s provision for students with dependents and/or with unpaid caring responsibilities.

About Me & My Aims

I am a PhD student in Medicinal Chemistry, as well as being the mother of a 6-year-old. I had my daughter during my undergraduate degree, and since then have gone on to study a Masters, and now a PhD, alongside being a parent.

As such, I feel that I have an understanding and appreciation of the issues that parents and carers can face at all stages of their academic career, and I wanted to help support others who are in a similar situation.

My main aims this year are to: establish an affordable source of childcare for students outside of term-time; hold regular focus groups with current student parents and carers to identify areas where they feel extra support or assistance is required, and work alongside the university to incorporate more child-friendly work-spaces on campus. That being said, this academic year could look very different from those we have known before. And, so additionally, I would really like to create a community of support for people who fall under the umbrella of my role (as I know how tough it can get sometimes!)