Who are Carers?
Carers Trust Scotland define a carer 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.’
The university has adopted the Carers Trust Scotland definition.
You can find up to date guidance relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak on the Carers UK website.
Find out if you are eligible for any emergency financial support on the Carers Trust website.
Check if you might need PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the Scottish Government guidance.
Highlights of the legal impact of the Coronavirus Act on carers can also be found in this document.
Why Carers may need more support at university.
University can be a tough time for students who also have caring responsibilities at home. Juggling the commitments of study with those responsibilities can often make student carers feel like they are being pulled in two ways.
If you let us know you are a carer we can offer assistance to support you through your time at university. This includes providing guidance, emotional support, and a range of other things in between.
You may find that you don’t think you need any support at first but if things change and you find you are struggling with your studies then you should not hesitate to go along to your local support services team who will be able to help you with a range of issues.
The university is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for our students with unpaid caring responsibilities, to ensure a positive experience whilst you are studying with us which enables you to successfully complete your course and undergo a worthwhile experience throughout your student journey.
In addition, you may find it useful to access the Essential Student Skills online resource. These interactive guidance materials were created to introduce students to various aspects of learning, including Using Technologies, Becoming an Effective Learner, Core Skills, Assessment, and more. There is no prescribed route through the resources, nor is there a specific timeframe for their completion, and all you will need to access them is an internet connection.
We also have a wide range of mental health support, which you can find on our dedicated webpages.
If you receive your funding from SAAS, you may also be eligible for Living Costs Grants which include the Dependant's Grant, an income assessed bursary awarded to those with a husband, wife, partner, civil partner, or another adult who you act as a carer for. Full details, including eligibility and how to apply, can be found here.
There is also the Young Carers Grant, a yearly cash payment of £300 for 16-18 year olds which carers can spend as they choose. You can claim if you are in further education and may be eligible if you meet all of the following criteria:
- you live in Scotland
- you are 16, 17 or 18 years of age when applying
- caring for an average of 16 hours per week, over a 13 week period
- care for someone normally paid a qualifying disability benefit
- you have not applied for or receive Carer’s Allowance
- you are not paid or volunteer to care
Find out more on the Government website.
Hope Support Services, a UK charity supporting young people when a loved when is seriously ill, have created a guide for university students which has been written by young people and can be found here.
In June 2020, we were delighted to achieve the Going Higher for Student Carers recognition award, a scheme which aims to make it easier for higher education institutions to support student carers and encourages universities to adopt sustainable approaches to identifying and supporting student carers.
Organisations in Scotland can receive a Carer Positive award, which shows a commitment to support employees who are carers. You can find a list of those employers who have received the award on the Carer Positive website.
Further support and advice can also be found at: