We Care – Supporting Student Carers to succeed at Swansea University

Group of students having a discussion

Are you a Student Carer?

“A student who cares, unpaid, for a family member or a friend who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.” Please note that these duties would be in addition to the usual caring responsibilities that a parent would have for a dependent child, unless the dependent child has a serious illness, mental health problems or disabilities.

The range and scale of caring will vary greatly but may include:

• Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping. 
• Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed. 
• Personal care, such as helping someone dress. 
• Helping to give someone their medication. 
• Managing the family budget. 
• Collecting prescriptions and managing medication. 
• Helping someone communicate. 
• Looking after brothers and sisters. 
• Providing emotional support.

Going to university can be particularly challenging for student carers, as juggling external responsibilities with studies can be difficult to manage. Swansea University is committed to supporting student carers and offers the following support package to those who are eligible.

Pre-Entry Support

• A named contact within the Welfare@CampusLife team
• Regular communication (email/texts/social media) about Swansea University life
• Exclusive visits to the university organised through named contact
• Help with planning and arranging accommodation for both term and vacation time (if required)
• Assistance with Student Finance Applications through our Money@CampusLife service
• Financial assistance to attend Open Days/interviews
• A meet and greet service for Open Days, interviews, applicant visit days and arrivals weekend
• Aspiration raising initiatives/activities in collaboration with local Carers Networks

Whilst Studying

• Regular support meetings with named contact
• Student Carers can apply for a bursary of up to £500 Full Time or £250 Part Time (pro-rata) to help assist with travel or equipment costs. Please note: The number of bursaries for 2018/19 is capped. Priority will be given on a first come first served basis. Students who fall outside of the cap can disucss additional options with the named contact
• Priority access to Swansea University’s Opportunity Award.
• Access to a range of other support services from disability services to mental health support and Counselling
• Student Carers online social forum
• Access to local carers support networks

• Employability opportunities to include those with Go Wales as well as the following schemes run by CampusLife:

1. The CampusLife Champion Scheme will look to recruit current undergraduate and postgraduate students to represent CampusLife at on-campus events and events throughout the local community. 
2. PALs (Promoting Active Lifestyles) aims to provide students accessing Campus Life services an opportunity to improve their mental, social and emotional wellbeing by increasing the amount of physical activity they do. PALS will look to recruit 10 student leaders who will work to support and encourage their peers in having a more active lifestyle.


Eligibility Criteria

• You are a ‘Home’ student (EU and International students are not eligible).
• You are enrolled on an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Course.
• Full Time or Part Time (*Part Time will be paid on a pro rata basis).
• Be an unpaid carer (see above for definition) for a family member or friend who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without your support. Please note that these duties would be in addition to the usual caring responsibilities that a parent would have for a dependent child, unless the dependent child has a serious illness, mental health or disability.


To access the support package, you will need to provide one of these sources of evidence to prove your carers status:

• A supporting letter from an appropriate professional, for example your GP, other medical professional or manager of a Carers' Centre confirming your carers status.
• Document evidencing that you are, or have been, in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.
• A supporting letter from a local voluntary sector young carers project on headed paper or via email from the organisation concerned.
• A supporting letter from your school or college explaining and confirming your status as a carer for someone with long-term ill-health, mental health problems or a disability on headed paper or via email from the organisation concerned.
• In addition, to proving carers status you will need to provide your award letter from your relevant funding body, for example, Student Finance England/Wales or the NHS for Undergraduate students.  

Post graduate students are expected to show that they have made adequate financial provision for tuition fees and living costs prior to commencing their course. Please provide documentary evidence of all funding sources including Bursary Notification, Scholarship Award Notification, Professional Career Development Loan, Tuition Fee Bursary and any other relevant financial evidence, such as savings and earned income. 

Support for Short-term Student Carers

The University recognises that students may find themselves in the position of being a 'temporary carer' at some point during their studies. This could be because a family member has had an accident, been diagnosed with an illness, or is undergoing treatment and the student needs to take on additional caring responsibilities for a short period whilst they recover.

Due to the temporary nature of these caring relationships it is not always appropriate for students to receive the same level of support as those who are long-term carers.

The University can still offer students with short-term caring responsibilities the following support:

•A named contact from Welfare@CampusLife to offer support and guidance through ongoing meetings as appropriate.
•Liaison with the student’s college, with their permission, to facilitate support. This can be in the form of assisting with applications for extenuating circumstances or exam deferrals to ensuring that the College is aware that the student’s attendance may suffer due to short term caring responsibilities.
•Facilitate access to Money@CampusLife for financial advice and support to access the Swansea University Opportunity Award if appropriate.
•Discuss with the student access to additional support which may be of benefit e.g. access Wellbeing Services, Academic Success Programme etc.

For all inquiries and further questions, please contact Welfare@CampusLife at welfare.campuslife@swansea.ac.uk or call 01792 513889.

Please note:  You will need to evidence your carers status every academic year to receive the package.  For example, this may involve providing a new GP letter.