Student Carers

The University of Birmingham recognises that the responsibilities of a student carer can have a significant impact on their University experience and their ability to engage with their studies.

If you are a student carer and would like to disclose your carer status please complete the Student Services registration form. Once the disclosure has been made, Student Services or your Welfare Tutor will make contact with you to discuss caring responsibilities. 

There are a number of local carer support services in Birmingham. If you are unsure of the support available or how to access it, we can help with this. You can contact us by emailing: studentcarers@contacts.bham.ac.uk.  

FAQs

Who is a carer?

‘A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.’ (Carers Trust definition)

Many people may not recognise themselves as carers. They may not realise that support is available to help them in their caring role.

Students with parental responsibilities, unless for a disabled child, are not classed as student carers nor are those who are paid to care.

What are caring responsibilities?

The activities that people with caring responsibilities may undertake are wide ranging, including, but not limited to:

  • help with personal care
  • help with mobility
  • managing medication
  • practical household tasks
  • emotional support
  • help with financial matters or paperwork

What support can the University offer me as a carer?

Once you let us know that you are a carer, we will send you some information about what support is available. If you would like to discuss your caring responsibilities in person, we can arrange a meeting with someone from Student Services or your Welfare Tutor.

To find out more visit the Student Services website. It provides information about our Counselling and Wellbeing Service, the Disability Service, Learning Support, the Mental Health Advisory Service, Student Conduct and the Chaplaincy.

In terms of academic support, where possible we will work alongside your welfare tutor in your school to consider the options available to you.

If you would like to speak to someone about academic support, you can contact your Welfare Tutor, who can explore the options available to you.

Is there any financial support available?

The Sarah Hawkins Award exists to assist students who are Young Adult Carers (aged 18-24) in meeting living costs while studying at University, including additional costs incurred as a result of their caring responsibilites.

The Student Support Fund is provided by the University to help students who are experiencing genuine and unavoidable financial difficulties and are struggling with their living costs. The SHF is a discretionary grant, offering support of up to £2,500 in an academic year which does not need to be paid back.

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. You can search for grants in your area.

What additional support is available?

The Birmingham Home Group provides a range of support, information and advice to carers who support individuals with mental health needs.

The Birmingham Carers Hub offers a wide range of services to local carers.

Carers Trust are a national charity providing support for carers. On their website they provide help and advice, they have an online community for carers, and a list of local services.

Carers UK are also a national charity providing a range of support to carers. There is a huge range of help and advice available on their website, from financial and practical support to information about useful equipment and technology. Their advice line can be accessed on: 0808 808 7777.

Which? Elderly Care is a source of free and independent information and advice on care choices for older people across the UK. It's a not-for-profit branch of Which?, and has a useful care services directory.

Who do I contact for more information?

For further information about the support available for student carers you can email studentcarers@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

If you would like to register to let the University know that you are a carer, you can complete the registration form.

The information that you share will be processed by the Student Support team within Student Services. This is to ensure that we can provide you with information about support for student carers at the University. To find out how we will use any personal data you share with us, please read our privacy statements.

I am a prospective student, where can I find out more?

You can visit the the prospective students with caring responsibilities website.

To find out more about the young carer events or to book spaces please contact Jane Patel on j.e.patel@bham.ac.uk or 0121 414 8489.