Kingston University students provide an insight into what it is like to be a young carer following Young Carers Action Day

By Nub News Reporter

16th Mar 2023 | Local News

Wednesday, March 15 marked Young Carers Action Day (Credit: Kingston University)
Wednesday, March 15 marked Young Carers Action Day (Credit: Kingston University)

Wednesday, March 15 marked Young Carers Action Day. An annual event hosted by the Young Carers Trust that helps to raise awareness of young carers and young adult carers who provide care to family members who are dependent on their support.

In early 2023, the Carers Trust carried out a UK-wide survey of how young people felt about their education and work. The study revealed more than half (51%) care for 20 - 49 hours each week alongside balancing their studies, work and lives outside of caring.

Two Kingston University students who are young adult carers have shared their experiences of balancing their studies and caring responsibilities following Young Carers Action Day.

Both are enrolled on the University's KU Cares scheme, which supports care-experienced students, young adult carers, estranged students and asylum seekers to achieve their academic and career ambitions.

Hristiana Petrova, is a final year psychology student and explained to Nub News how she balances her studies and caring responsibilities.

She said: "The Young Adult Carers bursary has helped me as I'm not able to work on top of my studies like my peers. Having clear boundaries between caring and university work is important. I try my best to get to all my lessons and have set times for studying. I arrange to meet up with friends to keep up with my studies.

"Finally, I think that self-compassion has helped me a lot. It's not something I had when I was younger, but now I know that it's ok not to feel like I'm doing a good job at being either a student or carer. I'm doing as much as I can and that's good enough for me."

Shivani Ladwa, a final year architecture student also provided insight.

She added: "I come home often to take care of my dad as he has long term health issues. I plan my week, specifying how long I can spend on each task so I can focus on all my modules and assignments whilst finding some time for self-care," she said. 

"I communicate with my tutors and course leaders regularly about my caring responsibilities and if they may interrupt my studies. By keeping them informed, I'm able to feel more secure and comfortable if for any reason I need to rush home."

There are a number of organisations operating in and around the Kingston borough who offer support to young carers, for more information visit the link here.

To discover more on Young Carers Action Day, click here.


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