National Care Leavers Week & FINAL UPDATE.

*****************************UPDATE******************************

Below are replies from MSP’s who have said they will sign up to support the motion. AMAZING NEWS!

 

Got this one final update from Sarah Boyack

2012-10-31 (3)

Malcolm.Chisholm.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
4:47 PM (10 hours ago)

to me

Thanks I certainly support the NUS campaign and have now signed Alison Johnston’s motion.
Best wishes
Malcolm Chisholm

Neil.Findlay.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
7:57 AM (19 hours ago)

to me

Very happy to support this motion – we need real action to improve access and national effort to improve the life chances of people who leave care.

Neil Findlay MSP for the Lothians

and a “its been passed on for consideration from  Sarah Boyack

Dear Conor

Thank you for your email to Sarah Boyack MSP regarding supporting young carers.

I am writing to confirm that I have forwarded your correspondence to Sarah for her consideration.

Kind Regards

Fiona

Will keep you updated on any more MSPS who get in touch. (feel free to send these guys a well done and thanks for supporting email!

Hello Guys, apologies for no updates life is sort of crazy all the time, I have had quite a few blogs bubbling away under the surface of late but just have not been able to put pen to paper (or is it fingers to keyboard?) .

I have a few blogs int he pipeline lined up but today I was at the Scottish Executive Committee (which is the meetings i attend in my National Union of Students capacity as an elected officer). The meeting was very long and lots where discussed but one of our officers brought up an amazing piece of information about national care leavers week. The article can be found here

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/news/article/priorityscotland/NUS-Scotland-and-Buttle-UK-join-forces-to-call-for-greater-action-on-access-to-higher-education/

this explains the whole story better but essentially We need to be doing more to support the most vulnerable in society (or so I think so anyway).

It was really exciting because the mood today had been really down at points and tensions had been running high over some technical and communication issues, This piece really elevated the mood to hear some amazing stories about how some universities where going above and beyond to provide for this group in really “WOW that’s the dream way”. What was scary is how little thought is given to this overlooked part of society. I sort of came away buzzing a little bit because It ties in so nicely with NUS’s campaign on “Unlocking Scotland’s potential (More on that on another blog update next week). I openly admit Carers was never an area I had looked at, I think it’s an area we as officers, as people hugely over look and now I have seen the potential to support it I should do my wee part to help it.

Theres a motion going through parliament this week, It essentially calls for the government to step up and do more for young people in care in terms of education and supporting them through that transistion and time at academic institutions.

What can you do? REALLY SIMPLE. anyone, student, sabb, parent, or just concerned citizen can fire an email to their local MSP and Regional MSP. By typing in their postcode here: http://www.writetothem.com/ and asking them to support the motion going through parliament (and while they are at it sign up to supporting Unlocking Scotland’s potential too because that’s similar kinds of awesome). I have put my own email below,  which I drafted very quickly an concisely (as best as I can be at being concise anyway!) With slight tweaking it could be used by anyone so if this is something you take an interest in or believe the government should be doing the same then Feel free to edit my email and fire it off.

Dear MSP

This week National Care Leavers Week and NUS is teaming up with Buttle to get the government to do more about young people in care.

 

Part of our widening access campaign for fair and equal access to university, which the government is planning on legislating on. Is not just about getting the poorest students into further and higher education, but providing mechanisms and support for students from a multitude of backgrounds. One of the groups that seems to slip through the cracks in terms of support is young people in care. The type of support provided for them is inconsistent from institution to institution. Also local authority figures on where these people, who are arguably some of the most vulnerable in society go after care, such as academic progression is just simply unknown.

There are many more arguments to be made about supporting young carers and some of them can be found here.

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/news/article/priorityscotland/NUS-Scotland-and-Buttle-UK-join-forces-to-call-for-greater-action-on-access-to-higher-education/

The reason I  am writing to you is to urge you to sign up to support the motion found here going through parliament.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4M-04517&ResultsPerPage=10

I would also like further commitment from yourself on supporting the NUS campaign for “Unlocking Scotland’s potential”. This campaign links up with the governments plans to legislate universities to do more for Scotland’s best and brightest students who deserve just as much chance at university no matter what their background.

If you have anymore questions on the issue I would be happy to answer them, meet in person or chat over the phone.

As a student, NUS officer and firm believer in fair and equal access to Education motions like these are at the heart of what government should be doing, protecting the most vulnerable people in our society.

Yours sincerely,

Conor Murray-Gauld

NUS Scotland Education Campaign convener

Now if you are a sabb at a university I amn’t going to ask you to smash down your principles doors and demand better packages for carers, many of you might find your University doesn’t even keep that data. What you can do is start the conversation, they WILL be starting to form next years access agreements for funding with the Scottish Funding Council and  they should be engaging with students union, and in that mix of trying to get them on board with improving access and support for a range of students across the spectrum, just keep it in mind there are other groups that just because they don’t come to mind straight away as a neglected group in society doesn’t mean the issue doesn’t affect them just as much.

Today was a total eye opener for me, And it’s a little soppy but it “warmed the cockles of my heart” as they say. I have done exactly what I have recommended above, I have raised it with my other local union officers that tis is another group we need to consider, and keep in mind, and we will see where it goes. hanging the world one step at a time.

One final piece is just a shout out to Jamie Kinlochan who is doing some fantastic work on this and if he hadn’t brought this to my attention I wouldn’t be writing this now. I also want to shout out to all of SEC and Heriot-Watt Exec, the part-time and full-time officers, these guys are just fantastic, such a talented bunch of officers I have the absolute pleasure of working with, even when meetings get tough and tempers flare stories like today, and the big wins we can make when we pull together make it all worth while an I don’t think I tell you guys that enough, and I certainly don’t shout it out loud to the rest of the world!!

P.S the last few weeks have been crazy but I am back on the horse and going to try to keep you guys updated a bit more regularly. Exciting hings coming down the pipeline. I would love if you could repost or get involved in this anyway possible, a tweet, Facebook post, like, or comment all make a difference!

Love

Conor Murray-Gauld

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~ by conorstrife on October 23, 2012.

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