This week the Care Experienced & Estranged (CE/E) Society, are hosting an Easter Crafts event for their members. We spoke to Sam, Society President, to discuss how the society got started and what work they’ve been up to help the care experienced and estranged student community at Strathclyde.
What was your journey with the society?
I became a member of the society last year because I’m care experienced and estranged myself. I was looking for some opportunities to join with other care experienced at university, just to find my own tribe really. I attended quite a few of the events last year and the opportunity came up to become part of the exec this year and I jumped in.
I’ve been promoting the society a little bit more this year. I created the Instagram page and a discord chat room, which is an app so any student can download that. I’ve been running some events; we had a successful event today which was like a Mother’s Day event for estranged students. We also had a successful social a couple of weeks ago. So, I’ve been doing bits here and there getting us together and forming that community.
What is the estranged peer support programme and the training coming up?
I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the student union to create some training for the student union staff members and staff members at Fife College. To discuss and educate on what care experienced and estranged student needs are and address those and how further education can maybe help elevate some of the ongoing issues we have.
What are the most rewarding moments of being involved in the society?
One of the first events I went to was a Christmas cook along and for me especially, Christmas is quite a difficult time of year, there is a lot of focus on family. It was right in the middle of the pandemic, so everything was on zoom, it was actually a very joyful time; we had crackers, we had a lot of jokes, people’s Christmas dinners were nearly getting ruined!
It was nice for part of our community to come together at such a difficult time for some of us so that's one of the most rewarding parts, being part of things. When you’re estranged it can be quite isolating.
Also I’ve put out a poll asking for other events and somebody had put a wee remark saying 'I’m just really grateful for the society'. I didn’t expect that, it came out of nowhere so it’s just nice to get some feedback and to find out we're actually doing things that matter.
What plans does the society have or are looking forward to?
We’ve been talking about some other events linking up with other societies. There’s a cocktail and mocktail society for example, we're thinking about doing some cocktail training as we have a few hospitality staff in the society. Also thinking about other events like the Mother’s Day event, not necessarily activism related just sort of acknowledging we might have additional needs around holidays like that. Things later in the year for Christmas because covid got in the road last time so definitely holiday related things are the way forward and linking up with other societies to expand that community a bit more.
If you are a member of the CE/E Society keep an eye on your email for your invitation and further details. If you are a care-experienced or estranged student at Strathclyde get your membership to join the society.