Creating an environment in which students can thrive while dealing with all the challenges of growing from adolescents into adults, has won The Bedford College Group successive prizes.
The Stonewall Champion silver status highlights the commitment the Group has shown to those from the LGBT+ communities. During the national Lesbian Gay BiSexual Trans month of February, the student services department staged a number of initiatives to promote inclusion of LGBT+ people and celebrate gender and sexual diversity.
The fun highlight was a visit from TV Drag Race drag queen “Vinegar”, otherwise known as Daniel Jacob. Speaking in his off-stage wear, Danny explained his journey from Performing Arts college student, to coming out as gay and finding success with his Drag Queen persona Vinegar.
“It started when I was offered a gig to dress up as a Halloween witch, one job led to another then the West End and then TV,” said Danny.
His advice that ‘persistence pays off’ applies to all students: “You have to carve your own way in creative careers, keep trying, keep meeting people, take all the opportunities you are offered, everything is a learning opportunity.”
The Stonewall Champion silver award was allocated to The Bedford College Group in this current academic year. Vice Principal Em Lowe, and Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Anastassia Parsons congratulated the work of staff and students across the college.
Training has been given to staff across the Group to help them challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and bullying, and to support the 16+ age group of students who may be questioning their sexual/gender identity. LGBT+ support groups have been set up successfully across the Group campuses including Bedford and the land-based learning campus of Shuttleworth College, also visited by “Vinegar” on February 6th.
Students Services Manager Will Sparrow said: “We have had some tremendous student- led work here over a period of years so this is not just a ‘one month a year’ publicity campaign. We work all year round make sure students are happy and supported not just by those of us in Student Services but all staff.”
Want to study in a mature and supportive environment? Go to www.bedfordcollegegroup.ac.uk and find out how you can join The Bedford College Group from the age of 16 or go to @live_bcgsu on Instagram to see relevant posts.