Bridgend College receives quality mark for Quality Standard Carer Support
We are delighted to have recently been awarded accreditation by the Carers Federation and achieved the Quality Standard for Carer Support. This is a fantastic recognition of the hard work and innovation that the Student Wellbeing and Senior Leadership teams have demonstrated in recognising the importance of identifying this vulnerable group, and ensuring our students, many of whom have a caring responsibility, are able to access extended support to enable them to achieve and excel in their chosen path.
Over the last three years, the Student Wellbeing Team has evolved from what was once a crisis centered safeguarding team, to an authentic wellbeing service in which the roles and responsibilities of team members have been aligned and diversified. There are now two Wellbeing Officers who focus on safeguarding and complex support for students by providing 1:1 support, group support, and referrals to internal and external support services. There are also two Engagement Leads who focus on student voice, physical wellbeing, enrichment, and peer support groups such as our Ambassador programme, female empowerment group (GRL), and LGBTQ+. These initiatives act as a preventative measure to expose our students to extra curricular experiences in which they can develop their social skills, self-esteem, and confidence. The Engagement Leads and Wellbeing Officers work together to ensure students are supported in a holistic manner and are able to progress through the provision and enjoy the benefits of learning these skills.
The team has adapted to new ways of working and embraced the ethos of holistic student wellbeing which has been acknowledged, experienced and reflected on by colleagues, students and external partners alike. There has been significant developments of online support through our social media pages and the team is leading the way by introducing theme specific podcasts which are available for all to access. The team have established innovative partnerships with local and national support organisations to utilise and maximise our service to students, which has empowered them to access services as and when they need to, independently or with support.
During this time, the vision for the Wellbeing Team to be authentic and holistic has remained strong and our commitment to ensuring students are safe, supported and encouraged to reach their full potential is unquestionable. The service has been developed further to ensure, as far as possible, vulnerable groups of students, including young carers, are identified and known. In undertaking and achieving the Quality Standard for Carers Support, we had the opportunity to reflect on our practices, evidence the good work and progress made in our effort to support our young carers, and consider the training needs of staff to raise awareness of the young carer role and responsibilities.
Wellbeing and Safeguarding Manager, Sam Gunnarsson commenting on the recent achievement, said:
“We are delighted to receive the accreditation from the Carers Federation and achieve the Quality Standard for Carer Support at Bridgend College. Both the Senior Leadership Team and the Student Wellbeing Team have shown dedication, innovation and consistency in prioritising the support available for young carers and other vulnerable groups of students. We are eager to continue developing and delivering an excellent service to ensure all students are able to achieve their potential within their education and beyond.’’
We are proud to be the first college in Wales to receive this accreditation and it is our intention to remain committed and innovative as the Wellbeing Service continues to evolve and embrace all aspects of wellbeing, to ensure we meet the needs of our students and empower them to ‘be all that they can be’.