FE News | Carers Spaces launched at SERC

South Eastern Regional College (@S_ERC) has opened Carers Spaces on the college’s Lisburn, Bangor and Downpatrick campuses. The dedicated relaxation areas have been funded through the Department for Health’s Carers Fund.

Catherine Shipman, Head of Engagement and Development, said:

“Student carers must deal with the added pressure of caring for a loved one and keeping up with their studies to gain their qualifications. We recognize the additional pressure on these students and have already established a robust student care program through the college.

She continued,

“Our new dedicated Carers Spaces, kindly funded by the Department of Health’s Carers Fund, builds on what we have achieved, including the Carers Federation Quality Standard in Carer Support accreditation. The Carers Spaces are dedicated spaces where student carers can go and escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life whilst on site. Each Carers Space is decorated with positive messages and images and equipped with massage chairs, weighted blankets, bean bags and a range of alternative therapies. There is room for gentle exercises, such as yoga, and a selection of self-help books.”

She added:

“Carers have played a central role in the design of the rooms, which will be a welcome resource for all student carers across the college.”

The new tools also include an online self-help app designed and developed with their input. The visually stimulating tool provides a virtual networking program for student caregivers, including chat rooms and dedicated chat topics, relaxation techniques, features to make caregivers smile and promote positivity, and a caring community feature where they are supported and encouraged by the student body to talk and seek support when they need it.