A blog by Catherine, our Care-Experienced Lead
“My role at Edinburgh College involves supporting over 800 students who have disclosed that they are Care Experienced. As part of a dedicated team, we work to ensure our Care Experienced students have the help and support they need to successfully complete their studies and to move on to a positive destination.
Who Cares? Scotland’s Care Experienced Week (23-31 October) gives us an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the Care Experienced community and the connections within it which play such a key and important role in enabling that success.
A big part of our work involves partnerships with other organisations across Edinburgh and Scotland, coming together to give our Care Experienced students the best possible opportunities and experiences.
We are a proud Corporate Parent – acknowledging our responsibility to tackle the barriers and issues faced by our looked after young people and care leavers. We work with the Hub for Success to increase the educational opportunities available to people who have spent time in care and are committed to tackling the trend of Care Experienced people leaving school at a young age and with few qualifications.
When we closed our campuses in March, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we knew how important it was to reach out and support our Care Experienced students at a time when life felt extremely uncertain. Our team supported students with moving accommodation, accessing funds which were available to support them over the summer and with accessing the IT equipment they needed to continue their studies at home.
As the realisation hit that the government measures (introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19) were expected to continue on into Session 2020-21, we had to look at the best way to support our students during the ‘new normal’. Prior to semester 1 starting, we held transition sessions providing an opportunity for students to meet the team and find out about the range of support available to them at the College, including from our Students’ Association, Learning Support team, Learning Development Tutors, Funding and Student Records teams.
At Edinburgh College, we provide training for our staff to raise awareness of how they can best support our Care Experienced students and are continually working to empower our students to achieve the future they want.
Celebrating the successes of our Care Experienced students is the most rewarding part of my role and I am extremely proud of their achievements. This year Social Services student Roseanna Campbell was the winner of the Young Scot Volunteering Award and she has also been shortlisted for the College Development Network’s Student of the Year Award. Roseanna is just one shining example from our Care Experienced community.”
Happy Care Experienced Week to all of our students and partners, from everyone at Edinburgh College!