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Lifelong Learning Centre

Reaching estranged students

Students walking

Posted on Wednesday, 09 March 2016 at 1pm
by Paul Devlin. See more of my posts here.
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I recently attended a day-long training conference at Manchester Metropolitan University, hosted by the charity Stand Alone. Stand Alone work to break down the stigma around estrangement and support people who are estranged from their families in their daily lives.

The event aimed to equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to help reach students who are studying without the support of a family network. The first session of the day launched a piece of research entitled Hidden Voices: Family Estrangement in Students. Representatives of Stand Alone presented and discussed the findings of their research into estranged students in higher education and provided an insight into the lives of students who are estranged from their family and their experiences of accessing support at university.

Of particular interest to me were a session delivered by digital communication expert and Stand Alone trustee Athar Abidi around reaching estranged students using social media, as well as the thoughts of Dr Jason Robinson (a psychologist and counsellor with a research specialism on family estrangement) on how to professionally engage with young people who are estranged and how best to support them.

What had been an extremely useful and interesting event from my perspective concluded with a panel of experts and estranged student ambassadors taking questions from attendees.

Categories: Conferences, Student Experience, Student Voices, Widening Participation