Thank you for visiting the Alliance for Care Experienced People in Higher Education (or ACEPHE from here on) to see what we are building.
My name is Dr Cat Hugman and I’m one of a small team of care-experienced people who have come together to develop what we hope is an additional resource for care experienced people (CEP) in Higher Education (HE). I think for many of us the idea of a group of CEP with experience studying and working in HE was a small seed, and in April 2019 our individual small seeds were nourished by connection at the Care Experienced Conference and so this project has begun.
Last night I spent a bit of time engaging in a twitter discussion #CareConvos hosted by the fabulous Rosie and Aoife from Conversations for Care. Spending time reflecting on questions like ‘Who was the most significant person in your education’ and ‘What could be learnt’ made me reflect on my journey through various stages of HE and how lonely it could be, how scary the world felt and the many challenges along the way. But I also thought about the lovely people I connected with and how these relationships buoyed me during some of the most challenging times. I also remembered the passion I have for my subject area and how this helped to motivate me, alongside a dose of stubborness, to keep going.
Last night, seeing so many care-experienced people and allied professionals come together to chat on social media was astounding. And I think the conversations really brought to the fore how there are so many CEP over the age of 25 who go to University, and yet so often they are hidden from statistics of HE participation.
What I didn’t realise during my studies, and that I am finding out more about now, is that there is a hidden presence of CEP researching, working and studying in HE who are eager to support and encourage one another. I’m hopeful that this project can build on this. The project is very much a work in progress and the aims are currently under discussion; broadly they encompass advocacy, outreach and scholarship for and by the care-experienced community.
I’d love to keep the conversation going, let us know if you have any thoughts on these questions:
- As a CEP working in HE what would you have wanted from a CEP network during your studies? How might it have made a difference?
- As a CEP student what would you want from a CEP network? How might it support you?
To find out more about the group and to get in touch please visit Find Out More section.