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College event to celebrate diversity

A Celebrating Diversity event was held at Sunderland College to promote integration and raise awareness of equality and diversity.

The informative and interactive event included representatives from the College and local organisations such as Washington Mind, who provided information on mental health; Age UK offered information on their charity work looking after the elderly; Friends of the Drop In (FODI) talked about their work to improve the mental health and well-being of the asylum-seeking and refugee community of Sunderland; Guide Dogs for the Blind visited with Commando the guide dog; Durham and Darlington NHS gave students advice on sexual health; Young Asian Voices painted Henna tattoos; Northumbria Police discussed hate crime prevention;  ND Make-up demonstrated Indian bride make-up; Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service gave safety advice;  Sunderland Care and Support talked about supporting people in the local community; and the College’s own ESOL students were awarded prizes.

Visitors to the event were also treated to food from around the world, produced by students at the College’s City Bistro, and a music from around the word performance by our music department.

Heather Fisher, Personal Development Co-ordinator at Sunderland College, said:

“The College values the diversity of all its staff and students and, through this event, we wanted to promote harmony between individuals and instil the importance of mutual respect between people from different countries, ages, cultures and beliefs.

“It was a huge success and extremely well attended. The students said they thoroughly enjoyed this event. We are hoping to continue it as an annual college event.”

Paul Marshall, Community Engagement Officer at Northumbria Police, said:

“The highlight of the event was seeing students from numerous countries and faiths celebrating achievement at Sunderland College.  Age, sexual orientation and disability were not a barrier to excelling in a supportive college environment”.

Craig Blackbird from Guide Dogs for the Blind said:

“It was a pleasure for both myself and guide dog Commando to attend the Celebrating Diversity event at Sunderland College.  It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet so many students and tell them about Commando, and how guide dogs ensure that no-one with sight loss is left out of life. Everyone was very keen to engage with us.”

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