A young carer at Oxford University has launched a new access initiative to encourage others to study at the university.

Holly Cobb, a second year French and Linguistics student at Somerville College, believes she would never have made it to Oxford without the support of her school and a local charity network for young carers.

She now wants other young carers to access the same sort of opportunities that changed her own life.

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Holly has set up the Young Carers Insight Into Higher Education Day which will offer young carers the opportunity to visit Somerville College.

Oxford Mail:

The event will offer the attendees the opportunity not just to learn more about studying at  Oxford, but at any university in the UK.

Speaking to Somerville College, Holly commented: “I hope this event will provide an opportunity for young carers to meet others with similar goals and gain an insight into all aspects of university life – not just studying, but also the social side, as well as the financial and emotional support available.

“I think if I’d been invited to an access event specifically for young carers in Year 12, I would have been a lot less nervous about applying to university.”

Holly has explained that when she was first offered her place at Oxford, the first thing she did was google ‘Oxford University’ carers.

Oxford Mail:

She was disappointed to see that Google didn’t seem to answer her question.

But Holly sees herself as one of the ‘lucky ones.’

She was first introduced to the concept of a young carer in a school assembly aged 14 and was offered a constant network of support through youth groups.


Wednesday, March 15 is Young Carers’ Action Day in the UK.

At present, there are at least 800,000 young carers across the country.

A young carer is defined as anyone under the age of 18 who helps look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

Oxford Mail:

Many young carers never even consider university because it seems so remote from their own lives, with 27% of young carers aged 11-15 taking time off school due to their caring responsibilities.

The Young Carers Insight into Higher Education Day hopes to change this narrative by inviting young carers into an informal and welcoming environment in which they can learn, ask questions and meet other young carers like themselves.

The inaugural Young Carers Insight into Higher Education Day will take place on 31st May at Somerville College.

To find out more and register, please email access@some.ox.ac.uk.