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Young carer

What is a young carer?

A young carer is a young person who is aged between 16-19 who is carrying out significant caring tasks and assuming a level of responsibility for another person which would usually be taken by an adult.

What barriers do young carers face?

Financial
As a young carer you may be entitled to a student bursary during your time here at college. This will depend on your household income and benefits received. The bursary is £30 per term and also potentially includes free college meals and the free college transport service.

Emotional
You may find throughout your time at college that your caring duties could affect college life. Your support coach will be your main point of contact if you require support or guidance. This will be on a one-to-one basis and can be as regular as you feel you need. You may struggle to socialise outside of college due to your caring duties. Your student support coach can advise you of useful external agencies that can support you with this.

Case study

“When I applied for college I ticked that I was a young carer on the application form. I was contacted by my support coach who confirmed this with me. She then sent out the paperwork for me to complete. This was a very simple tick sheet that I filled out and then sent back. I met her at enrolment and explained I was a very nervous person and worried about starting college. I had previously been bullied at school and this was something I really did not want to happen again.

“On the first day of college I went to her and she took me round and introduced me to a few learners on the course who were lovely. I still felt very nervous and felt I wasn’t like others as they seemed to have a much easier time at home. I wasn’t sure what to talk to them about. The support coach explained she can arrange for me to join a group that is for young carers like myself if I wanted to. It is called the Young Carers Hub. She gave me a booklet with the details and a contact number.

“I spoke with the support coach about this and told her I was very uncomfortable with eating in front of people. She found me a quiet area to go to if I needed. I used this at the beginning of term, but not for long.

“I found that on a few occasions I could not come in as I was looking after my brother. I contacted her via text/WhatsApp and explained this. She informed tutors and this meant it was recorded as an authorised absence.

“The support coach gave me the relevant bursary forms and supported me with the information I needed to receive the payments.

“I slowly gained confidence and made lots of friends on my course. I didn’t use the Hub, but I think this is an excellent idea for young carers as we can, at times, feel very isolated when it comes to socialising.”

Top five tips

  • 1Keep learning
    In order to stay relevant, you have to stay open to new trends and keep educating yourself. You have to keep evolving.
  • 2See the bigger picture
    We all give different meanings to situations and see things from our point of view. Broaden out your perspective and consider the bigger picture.
  • 3Connect with others
    Stay in touch with family and friends and make regular and frequent contact with them.
  • 4Balance sleep
    Get into a healthy sleep routine – including going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
  • 5Relax
    Make time for yourself. Allow yourself to chill out and relax. Find something that suits you. Different things work for different people.

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Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2018

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Best A Level provider in Mansfield and Ashfield for student progress*

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction**

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

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£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
**Learner Exit Survey 2017/18
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