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It’s Pride Month and the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at Canterbury College have collated a range of resources surrounding the topic of Pride and LGBTQ+. The LRC have a display in Canterbury College library showcasing their top picks for books to read with a LGBTQ+ theme, as well as an online resource for eBooks and audiobooks. There are a variety of books available to loan, from young adult reads such as ‘I’ll Give You the Sun” by critically acclaimed author Jandy Nelson, to more informative books including “Challenging Diversity” by Davina Cooper, as well as personal stories including a memoir of LGBTQ+ icon, Freddie Mercury. The resources are available to all staff and students across the EKC Group and explore the themes of inclusivity and equality and what it is like to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. The online resources can be found here.
There is also an Emotional Wellbeing Centre (EWC) located in the LRC, which is a safe space that can provide advice and guidance to anyone feeling like they may need support.
The EWC offers a calm and accepting environment without judgement, and all conversations are kept confidential. The service is open to all students at Canterbury College and welcomes anyone who is struggling to drop in and discuss any issues with a member of the team to see if they can make any difficulties easier.
The Canterbury College Students’ Union is also very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and is closely involved with the annual Canterbury Pride event, taking part in the parade through the city.
There are also opportunities for students to be involved further and students can apply to become the Equalities Officer at the Students’ Union. They work to ensure that all students are treated equally, and the same opportunities and events are offered to everyone whilst at College, regardless of age, sex, gender, disability, sexuality, and ethnicity.
The Equalities Officer is typically involved with promoting awareness surrounding topics including LGBTQ+, Black History Month and Gender Equality and work alongside the Students’ Union and Student Experience team to ensure events are as accessible as possible to every student.
Ash Noble, former Student Equalities Officer, used his personal experiences with gender identity to “ensure that every student is being represented fairly and inclusively” at Canterbury College.
This role is a great opportunity for students to be involved in extra-curricular activities, whilst gaining interpersonal and leadership skills which Universities and workplaces hold in high esteem. Therefore, this is a great way to boost your CV and highlight the issues that are important to you and showcase your positive involvement in the community to future employers and higher education institutions. Find out more about how to apply to become the next Equalities Officer here.
The Students' Union aims to spread this message and runs events throughout the year to highlight this cause. Pronoun badges are available to students to pick up for free from the Students' Union, allowing them to share with others how they would like to be referred to.