Young Carers and Unpaid Carers

Here for our Young Carers and Unpaid Carers whenever you need us, we’re proud to care


We recognise the challenges faced by students who are young carers or have unpaid caring responsibilities e.g. for mum, dad, a brother or sister, extended family member, friend or neighbour. We are here to support your wellbeing and success at college, and to take steps as appropriate to help in any way we can.

We rely on you telling us about your situation as soon as possible. 

Identifying yourself to the College as a Young Carer or Unpaid Carer:

  • Tick the Carers box on your course application form, or
  • Email us:, or
  • Tick the Carers box on your course enrolment form, or
  • Tell one of our Student Advisors

What do you mean by the terms Young Carer or Unpaid Carer?

An unpaid carer is someone who provides care and support to a family member, friend or neighbour. The person or people they care for may be affected by disability, physical or mental ill-health, frailty or substance misuse and cannot cope without their support. A carer does not need to be living with the person they care for.

Anybody can become a carer at any time in their life and sometimes for more than one person at a time. An unpaid carer can be any age from young children to very elderly people. A Young Carer is an unpaid carer under the age of 19. Those Young Carers who are aged 16, 17 or 18 may be eligible to access the Young Carers Grant

How can the college help?

  • We will offer you access to a named person on campus whenever you need advice or support, and even to be the person who helps other staff to understand your own circumstances and the impact that this can have on you and your studies
  • Where possible, we will fast track your funding application and offer to assist in helping you access any additional funding support
  • We will work with you to consider what adjustments may be necessary to remove barriers and establish and maintain a  personal learning plan
  • For Young Cares, we’ll make sure you know about the Young Carers Grant 
  • We will offer to help you engage with our student support services and with local and national carers services
  • We will offer you the opportunity to participate in respite and support actives through our Students’ Association
  • We will do whatever we can to minimise the impact on your chances of success, including a commitment to the continuous review of our policies and processes to remove barriers wherever we can

How can I find out more?

Call: 0300 600 60 60 (ask for Student Advisory Services)
Drop-in Due to social distancing, please call or email first

Who are the Named Contacts at each campus?

When you tick the box on you Course Application Form to identify yourself as a Young Carer or Unpaid Carer, Michelle Smith, Senior Administrator, will reach out to you to find out more about how the college can support you. If you are offered a place on one of our courses and you accept the place, Michelle will hand over to the Named Contact for Young Carers and Unpaid Carers at your chosen campus of study. Their details are shown below:


Jade (Student Advisor) 
t. 0300 600 6060

Greenock & Waterfront: Fiona (Student Advisor) 
t: 0300 600 6060
Paisley: Diane (Student Advisor)
t. 0300 600 6060

Students’ Association Young and Unpaid Carers Officer:

All Campuses: Vanessa Thomson (Student President) 
t. 0300 600 6060

The Students’ Association Carers Officer can help to ensure Young Carers and Unpaid Carers have a strong and collective voice within the college, helping to influence policy and supporting Young Carers and Unpaid Carers with advocacy, wellbeing, building support networks and having opportunities to take time out.   

College Policy:

> West College Scotland Policy for supporting applicants and students who identify themselves as a Young Carer or Unpaid Carer

External Support Networks:

News: COVID-19 Vaccine

Did you know that people who provide vital face-to-face care and support for others (unpaid carers), and who haven’t already been given an appointment, are now being invited to register for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine? 

If you are unpaid carer or Young Carer, you may be eligible for vaccination at this stage and should register if all of the following statements apply to you:

  • You are 16 to 64 years old;
  • You provide face-to-face care and support to one or more family members, friends or neighbours;
  • The care you provide is not part of a contract or voluntary work;
  • If caring for someone under 18, they are affected by a disability, physical or mental ill health, developmental condition or substance misuse; and
  • You have not already received your first COVID-19 vaccination or vaccination appointment letter. 

You will need to have access to an email address or mobile phone to register, and you will also need to be registered with a GP or other NHS Scotland service. 

The National Carer Organisations have developed a useful FAQ guide on carer vaccines which is available here.  Carers can register at this link for the vaccine.