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Carer Friendly University: Sheffield Hallam University

02 June 2016

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How does Sheffield Hallam University support students with caring responsibilities?

Sheffield Hallam is a Carer Friendly University, supporting students with caring responsibilities from before they start through to graduation and beyond. Find out more:


“It was nice to know you are not alone and that there are people in the University you can come to with any problem and they will try to help."

Student carer at Sheffield Hallam University

Before you start

The Compact Scheme provides extra support if you face barriers to going to university, including if you have caring responsibilities. 30% of students who apply to Sheffield Hallam through the Compact Scheme have caring responsibilities.

The scheme provides a number of benefits to student carers, from a named contact to help through the application process to regular emails about student life and bespoke visits to the University. Visit the website for more information: 


"The Student Support [Officers] for carers are very helpful and send a lot of emails with helpful information… I would not have known about this help otherwise."

Student carer on Compact Scheme

While you’re studying

Students are encouraged to let the University know about any caring responsibilities when they enrol. A named contact in the Student Transition and Progression team can then provide support with settling in, information about relevant services, and one-to-one advice about University life and local carers’ groups.

The Carers Café based at the Student Union also provides an information place for student carers from Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield to meet, share experiences and find out more about support available to them.



Awareness-raising activities, team meetings and forums support University staff to better understand the unique challenges that student carers face, what support is available from the University, and how students can access this support.


Outreach activities

Sheffield Hallam runs a programme of outreach activities for young carers in schools and colleges, which are aimed at raising aspirations, developing skills and confidence, and increasing their knowledge of Higher Education. The University is currently in the process of recruiting Student Ambassadors with caring experience to act as role models.

"I have previously lost students from my course who were young carers and believe strongly in Hallam's ethos of giving an opportunity to people who have not traditionally gone into Higher Education."

Senior Lecturer, The Faculty of Development and Society

Partnership working

Sheffield Hallam works in partnership with Sheffield Young Carers, Sheffield Carers Centre, the Higher Education Progression Partnership and the University of Sheffield, to maximise support for carers through shared resources, best practice and expertise, as well as running awareness-raising activities and events.

"Our ‘Move to the Beat’ event was attended by around 50 young carers and their families. Everyone had a great time, with the young carers and families enjoying the chance to shake off their worries and have some much-needed fun and respite. Huge numbers of people stopped to watch, ask questions and even join in, really helping to raise the profile of young carers and make Sheffield a carer friendly city.”

Laura Selby, Sheffield Young Carers Project, reflecting on an event held to mark Carers Week 2015

Why does Sheffield Hallam University go above and beyond to support students with caring responsibilities?

Carers face a particular and unique set of challenges which can affect their attainment and aspirations at a young age. This means that they may face barriers in their progression into Higher Education and may experience difficulties in achieving the same as their peers during their studies and graduation. Research from Carers Trust shows that:

  • Young adult carers are four times more likely to drop out of Further Education and Higher Education
  • 42% of student carers balance studying, caring and a part-time job
  • 67% of student carers reported worrying about not having enough money to meet basic living expenses

At Sheffield Hallam the most common issues raised by students are balancing finances and securing placements, alongside their caring role. In order to mitigate this, Student Support Officers in faculties offer students financial advice and encourage those offering placements to be flexible in their approach. For example, recording seminars for students that have to miss them due to their caring role has proven successful.

“I got referred [to the Student Support Fund] after speaking to my Student Support Officer. It was helpful as I got to find out about support I didn’t know existed… Receiving this money has made a massive difference to my Mum's life and mine.”

Student carer who had regular contact with a named Adviser

Through improving ways to identify and support students with caring responsibilities, Sheffield Hallam has identified 443 students who are currently studying at the University and caring – a significant increase since 2013, when 190 student carers were identified. 

Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2018

  • logo01
  • Carers UK new logo
  • image description
  • independent age
  • macmillan
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which Elderly Care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • The Lockwood
    Charitable Foundation
  • Nutricia


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