Award scheme launched for care experienced students

North East Scotland College in Fraserburgh.
North East Scotland College in Fraserburgh.

North-east students in Higher and Further Education who have experience of being looked after or in care will be recognised through a new awards scheme to celebrate their achievements.

The Care Experience Students Awards has been launched by Robert Gordon University (RGU), North East Scotland College (Nescol) and the University of Aberdeen.

RGU campus at Garthdee

RGU campus at Garthdee

The awards have been set up to highlight each organisation’s responsibility as Corporate Parents to share best practice and work together to benefit care experienced students.

Each institution will highlight a student who has had experience of being looked after at an awards event planned during National Care Leaver Week in October.

As well as academic achievement, the awards will also celebrate student engagement with their place of study and their journey to overcome adversity.

Local authorities Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council, as well as voluntary organisation Who Cares Scotland?, support the award as part of a regional strategy to meet the national ambition for care experienced young people.

They also act as corporate parents and work closely with the educational institutions to provide a joined-up service.

Rob Wallen, Principal of North East Scotland College, said: “The College is very pleased to be working with the two local universities and the two local authorities in our area to provide support and encouragement to those who have experience of being in care, and this initiative is one important part of those arrangements.”

Chris Sojka, widening participation officer at the University of Aberdeen, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be a partner in this new and exciting award scheme.

“This initiative is an excellent example of what the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College can achieve by working together to support students who have experience of being in care.”

Charley Buchan, wider access project officer at RGU, said: “The Care Experienced Student Awards are part of wider efforts in the north-east to ensure that all corporate parents work in a coordinated manner to ensure that care experienced individuals are aware of the support available to them.

“These awards recognise student achievements as well as allowing others to see what is possible with support.”