Open university

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
Hi everyone,

I’ve been caring for my mum since I was about 10 years old and I am now 25. Due to my caring responsibilities my education suffered and I left school with less than what I needed to get into uni and to be honest it wouldn’t have been the right time. I completely gave up on the uni path and went straight into full time work. I am able to balance my caring responsibilities with work and have recently started looking into an open university course. I don’t regret anything I’ve done or feel any sort of resentment,I just feel like I have missed out on something else that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m just venting :lol: and wondering if anyone has had any experience with open university whilst caring/and working?
Hi Chelsea ... welcome to the forum.

Studying ?

BE VERY WARY ... The infamous 21 Hour Rule !

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... =21%20hour

One of the very reasons I started that thread in the first place !

For the benefit of younger carers and carers whose caring roles are numbered,

In your case , not only the £ 123 weekly limit on earnings and still retaining Carers Allowance ... now , the dreaded 21 Hour
Rule is thrown in the mix ... even if it involves home study !


Good juggling act ... £ 122.99 per week + Carers Allowance + 20 hours 59 minutes studying ... the diffence 2p / 2 minutes can
make ... at times ???

Others will be along to extend their welcomes and provide any guidance on the day to day caring matters.
Thanks for the reply, I can’t claim carers allowance due to working full time and over earnings threshold so I don’t need to worry about that it’s more for advice on balancing everything. :)
In which , forget the 21 Hour Rule for now ... will reappear should you elect to claim Carers Allowance in the future.

( Earnings ? Marshalling ... offsetting certain expenditure and staying within the £ 123 ( CA now back in the frame ) possible
.... more on that if needed ... or your caring duties increase ??? )


The art of balancing ... life / work / study / caring.

No clearcut answer .... nor a one size fits all one.

A Question of Balance ( Thanks , Moody Blues ) ... an old fashioned remedy ... trial and error.

Objectives / hopes in life ... how best achieved from the resources available to you ?

Only you can answer that one ... whatever balance that feels " Right " for you.

Few on this forum have that option , many have predetermined paths ahead of them no matter what they do.

On the caring side , upto date needs and carer assessments done through your LA ?

I'll post links if theses are unknowns to you.
Hi Chelsea
I think doing a course is good for you, for your self esteem, for your future prospects, for all sorts of reasons.
I did an OU course while working full time (no caree at that stage) and found it best if I totally blocked out set times to do it in my diary. For example I would do 3 hours every Saturday between 7 and 10 and then would feel free for the rest of the weekend. If a test or report was looming I would set aside extra time, and nothing was allowed to interrupt that time.
I realise this may not be as easy in a caring situation, but some of it is acknowledingn to yourself how important it is to you, and that you are important and worthy of the time.
It will take determination and dedication, but that just makes the feeling of accomplishment at the end even more fulfilling
Go for it! :)
Also, if an OU course is too much to start with check out Futurelearn for all sorts of short term online free courses. They will seem like you have to pay but that's only if you want to pay for a certificate. Most courses are free.www.futurelearn.org
Hello Chelsea,


The OU also run Access modules. These are slightly different to the Access courses run in colleges. Basically, they offer you the chance to study a module, gain academic study skills and see if you can fit in study with work and caring responsibilities.
MrsAverage wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:28 pm
Hi Chelsea
I think doing a course is good for you, for your self esteem, for your future prospects, for all sorts of reasons.
I did an OU course while working full time (no caree at that stage) and found it best if I totally blocked out set times to do it in my diary. For example I would do 3 hours every Saturday between 7 and 10 and then would feel free for the rest of the weekend. If a test or report was looming I would set aside extra time, and nothing was allowed to interrupt that time.
I realise this may not be as easy in a caring situation, but some of it is acknowledingn to yourself how important it is to you, and that you are important and worthy of the time.
It will take determination and dedication, but that just makes the feeling of accomplishment at the end even more fulfilling
Go for it! :)

Thanks! I’m now feeling a bit more encouraged to go for it. It will be challenging but I think I can manage it. I have had a chat with my family and basically been honest and said much of the above and that they need to start taking it seriously because to be honest without the caring I really haven’t achieved much in life. It may sound selfish but. I feel like I’ve put my life on hold long enough and I now need to start thinking about me. :)
Sometimes families don't fully hear what we are saying, so for studying, it might be worth taking yourself out to the library and doing the work there. That way you can concentrate, the time is ring -fenced and its visible and real to the family.
If they are used to you giving way, or saying yes to everything and putting yourself last, it's going to take them some time and lots of repetition to realise that this time you are determined and are going to do it.
Definitely go for it
Xx