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Lincoln Student Wins Young Adult Carer Award

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We are so proud of Lincoln Law graduand, Chloe Rollings who has achieved so much during her time at the University of Lincoln. This award is very much deserved in recognition of Chloe’s ongoing commitment to supporting other student carers while at university.

‘On the 13th June 2018, Carers Trust CPN held their 3rd Annual Pride in Our Carers Awards. This event is designed to bring together unpaid family carers, organisations, charities and businesses to recognise and celebrate the incredible work of Carers. 

The Young Adult Carer Award is presented to a Young Adult Carer who goes out of their way to help and support others and who makes a difference in someone’s life. This year, I was honoured to receive this award in recognition of the new support framework, created in partnership with Carers First and the Student Wellbeing Team, to support Student Carers whilst at the University of Lincoln. This has inspired a novel approach to supporting students with additional responsibilities and challenges which could grant more student carers the opportunity to aspire to higher education. Through frequent consultation, increased awareness, deliverance of public talks and production of information and tools, a holistic approach was adopted to capture and support the needs of carers. This includes an enrolment question to identify Carers as well as an online platform of information to cement the network of support across various departments by acting as a signpost. This also enhanced the partnership between the Students Wellbeing team and the external Carers organisation leading to the introduction of Carer Surgeries and a smoother referral system. Since raising awareness of this issue, a Wellbeing Advisor and Careers Advisor for those with complex needs and caring responsibilities were also employed to support this project. This has since developed in the University’s and Students’ Unions commitment to Carers manifesting in the creation of a Students’ Union Policy. 

I became a Carer on 11th October 2015, just 3 weeks into my university journey. For the following 2 years, I was a struggling student and an exhausted carer. I truly thought this was a battle I faced alone and very few people knew how tough my life had the potential to be at times. One major difficulty was the guilt that came with living away from home and continuing my University journey whilst my family’s life came to a standstill. Upon realising I was a Carer 2 years later, I discovered that there is nothing unique about this situation or this feeling; I am not an anomaly and other carers face the same struggles. I knew then that sharing my experiences could make a difference and empower others. This inspired me to create the role of Student Carer Champion in September 2017. For the last academic year, I have been striving for change and the success of this project has transformed my story from one of sadness to one of strength. 

My caring responsibilities are never something I considered to be award-worthy, which is why this award came as a surprise. Caring is a big part of my life, but I hope that this award shows that Carers are able to embrace both aspects of their life and having a separate identity from caring is important for their personal wellbeing. This project enabled me to explore my new identity as a Carer and a Law Student, and I could not be prouder of what has been accomplished.’

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