Care and support at University
. Hi guys I hope you are all well and staying safe during this time.My name is Joseph Skinner and I am 20 years old and I have a condition called cerebral palsy which affects the movement of all of my four limbs. I also use an electric wheelchair and require 24 hour personal care and support with things such as toileting, eating, getting in and out of bed, and washing myself etc. I also require assistance with travelling everywhere I go for safety reasons.
I have been accepted onto a multimedia sports journalism course at UCFB University at their Etihad campus in Manchester. The qualification is a BA Hons 3 year degree, which once completed will enable me to pursue a job in the professional football industry as a journalist or radio presenter due to the skills I will have acquired. Over the past few months I have been liaising with the universities learning support team who have been helping me to ensure that I get the support that I need to undertake my studies to the best of my abilities.
Charlotte Adams is a learning support coordinator from UCFB University at the university’s Manchester campus and she signposted me to be assessed by Lancashire Pennine Access Centre. This service carry out DSA (disabled students allowance) assessments on behalf of student finance for university equipment and support. The result of which identified that I require a specialist laptop with adaptations such as voice recognition audio note taking and diagram software. I also require a support worker when at University to help me with going to the toilet, eating my lunch and getting things out of my bag etc.The DSA part of the student finance have supplied me with the technology I require for the course , however they don't give a budget for classroom and personal care support.
Subject to approval I will receive a student finance loan but this will not cover the expenditure required to pay for a Carer for the two days of study per week accumulating a total of 8 hours a week plus extra curricular activities and the travel expenses to and from the University.
Lancashire Pennine Access centre completed a robust and comprehensive assessment and report which I am happy to share with you which illustrates the day to day essentials of what I need in order to access this course.
I currently have a Social Worker at Lancashire County Council called Rachel Pickard and I have recently had a care act assessment but she advises me that Adult Social Care do not support Service Users to access education. They also cannot increase my personal care budget which I use to pay my mum who is my paid carer under exceptional circumstances to enable me to remain living at home. My mum is unable to attend University with me as it would put an unsubstantiated amount of pressure on her with her already being my 24/7 carer.
As a 20 year old young man I want the opportunity to access the whole education experience of University and the opportunities and career that this will ultimately create for me and the contribution I wish to make in society. I feel however that this avenue of opportunity which I am so close to getting is being impeded and prevented due to my disability and the lack of financial support and help I need.
I have exhausted every area of support and research I can think of including organisations like Snowdon Grants, but I am being told repeatedly that there is not the financial support and help I need.
Can you please advise or signpost me to any organisations who may be able to help me to access additional funding opportunities in relation to University.