Carers Spaces Launched

0 min read

30 May 2024

Sarah Devlin, Marie Jameson, Catherine Shipman, Richard Rodgers, Vikki Pinkerton, Nikki Sloan,

SERC has opened Carers Spaces in the College’s Lisburn, Bangor and Downpatrick Campuses. The dedicated relaxation spaces have been funded through the Department for Health’s Carers Fund.  

Catherine Shipman, Head of Engagement and Development said, “Student Carers must cope with the extra pressure of caring for a loved one as well as keeping on top of their studies to achieve their qualifications.   We recognise the extra pressures on these students and already have a robust student carers programme in place through the college."         

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

She added, “Carers have been pivotal in the design of the rooms which will be a welcome resource for all student carers across the College.”

The new resources also include an online self-help App which has been designed and developed with their input. The visually stimulating tool provides a virtual networking programme for student carers, including chat rooms and dedicated chat topics, relaxation techniques, features to make carers smile and to promote positivity and a caring community feature where they will be supported by the student body and encouraged to talk and seek support when they need it.   

In addition, a series of online healthy food cookery videos have been developed for busy carers to ensure nutrition on a budget for time-strapped carers.