Carers and learning
Many carers really enjoy learning and doing courses, and the freedom this gives them to spend time on themselves. Although you may be concerned at first, there is support available - from finding the right course to funding and how to arrange alternative care.
Finding the right course
Some colleges run courses specifically for carers. These courses are often informal, friendly environments where you are encouraged to find a study programme to suit your learning styles, caring duties and personal aims.
Princess Royal Trust for Carers bursaries
You may be able to apply for a Princess Royal Trust for Carers bursary. Funds are available for carers who are caring or who have stopped caring in the last six months. They can be used for course fees, books and equipment. The cost of computers or respite care is not covered. For more information, contact your local Princess Royal Trust for Carers' centre.
City & Guilds 'Learning for Living' programme
Learning for Living is a combination of an on-line learning programme for carers and a qualification. It has been developed by City & Guilds, which is the leading provider of vocational qualifications in the UK.
Other ways to get funding
Some colleges give reductions to carers on benefits and some provide help with funding for transport costs and course fees. Contact the college that has the course you are interested in for more information.
You may need to find someone to take over your caring duties while you study. Your carer's assessment from your local trust should include if you want to study and whether you will need someone to help you with your caring role while you learn.
Your local trust may have schemes available to help you take a temporary break from caring while you study. If you have not had an assessment, contact your local trust to arrange one.
Crossroads Northern Ireland is an organisation that provides respite care so that you can have time to yourself.