Young carers from across the UK have been invited to a pioneering open day at The University of Nottingham.
There are nearly one million children and young people in the UK who regularly provide care for a family member who may be ill, disabled or have mental health issues.
Now, with the support of the Impact Campaign, the University has responded by organising the UK’s first University open day dedicated to young carers which is taking place on Thursday 27 June.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign has so far raised £95m. The five-year campaign was launched in October 2011 to raise money across five strategic themes — The Nottingham Experience, Health and Well-being, Nurturing Talent, Ingenuity and Sustainable Futures.
Young carers often provide more than 20 hours of care per week to a loved one, and some, including very young children, provide care for more than 50 hours a week. Young carers face many challenges in their day-to-day lives, including how this commitment affects their education.
“A lot of young carers who have definitely got the ability and potential to go on to university have been denied it because of the problems in school, because of people not understanding the problems and their situation.” Alex, a young adult carer aged 19.
Over 150 young carers from all parts of the country have already signed up to the event, to come and find out what University has to offer them. The day will include academic taster sessions, activities at Lakeside Arts Centre and the sports centre, and drop-in advice sessions.
Fifty of the young carers attending the event will also be staying in one of the University’s halls of residence the night prior to the open day, giving them a full university experience.
Professor Saul Becker, Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University, said: “The impact that caring for a loved one has on a young person’s education can be immense. Their priorities are completely different to that of other children, who do not have the same responsibilities.
“This event is about raising aspirations of young carers, showing them what University is like, the opportunities available to them and how they can combine caring with learning. We hope to show young carers from across the country that there are options open to them and to let them know how they can access various routes. We hope that this will be a great help to these young people and that it will have a positive impact on their lives and well-being, as well as showing them that they are not alone and that there is support available.”
The University and the local community have already provided much of the funding needed to run the Young Carers Day by hosting a series of fundraising events around the campus. Over £500 was raised at May Fest by Nottingham’s student fundraising organisation Karnival, whilst those enjoying the recent free Summer Symphony in the Park concert generously donated nearly £2,000 towards young carers.
Rebekah Chapman is a young carer, she says: “I know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be to juggle studying with caring for a family member. Many young carers don’t even dream about university as an option for them, so I think The University of Nottingham’s community day is a brilliant idea. I hope people support it.”
For more information about the day, including how to make a text donation, go to www.alumni.nottingham.ac.uk/netcommunity/youngcarers, or telephone 0115 823 2804 to pledge a gift over the phone. or telephone 0115 823 2804 to pledge a gift over the phone.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…