When I was first elected in 2019, I made it my personal mission to raise awareness of student parents and carers as a group that has specific needs throughout their educational journey. Since that point, we have made some fantastic strides forward including speaking in parliament about the issues faced across the sector (Talking to parliament about the struggles student parents face), lobbying the University to increase the number of caring facilities on campus, writing for a national publication on the issue (We could make a massive difference to student parents ), lobbying the University to create a more effective policy for addressing parent learners needs and more recently, making sure students with caring responsibilities are at the forefront of all decisions made both in the Uni and Union.
In the last year, the COVID pandemic has disproportionately affected those with caring responsibilities and your Students’ Union has been leading the way in both the University and sector to address this and support you. After lockdown 1.0 we created a “hub” for students located on our website with useful resources and blogs to support those learners with children. This was really well received but we wanted to do more!
During lockdown 3.0, with schools closed, our students were once again, in dire straits and we responded by developing a student parents and carers network. This is a group that has reached across all campuses and works to support the groups on a practical level with resources, social meetings, information, and guidance as well as on a more strategic level by ensuring their voices are heard at all levels of the University and nationally.
A Facebook page was deemed the best way to bring the group together and collaboratively build a community that exists for student parents and carers.
The first networking event will be held in the evening to ensure all members can make arrangements around their caring responsibilities and will give everyone a chance to get to know each other and decide how the network can best meet the needs of that 25% of students who are not the “traditional” student of 18 living in University accommodation.
As a Union, we are here for all students in an equitable way and this group will help go some way to allow these students the opportunity afforded to their peers without the added responsibilities. If you would like to join please follow the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/413726083013500 or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org