22 December 2023
As we approach the end of 2023, we’re looking back on some of our initiatives that help us celebrate diversity and promote equality for students, staff, and our wider community.
1.Celebrating Awareness Days
Here at Coleg Gwent, the celebration of awareness days is not just a date in the calendar; it’s an opportunity to learn, share, and appreciate the diverse backgrounds that make up our college community. Throughout the year, the college hosts events, workshops, and discussions to celebrate the accomplishments and address the challenges faced by diverse communities, including Black History Month, UN Cultural Diversity Day, Pride Month, National Inclusion week and International Women’s Day.
2. Launching Affinity Networks
Understanding the importance of representation, in 2022, we launched our affinity networks that bring together individuals who share common identities, backgrounds, or experiences. The six affinity networks at CG contribute to addressing and solving problems for all under-represented and disadvantaged groups and individuals within our college, and each drive forward actions linked to key events on our calendar such as Black History Month (Race equality), International Men’s Day (Men’s alliance network). Through regular events and meetings, these networks contribute to a campus culture that values and respects the diverse identities within the college community.
3. All Staff Anti-Racism Training: A Collective Commitment
In line with the Welsh Government’s aspiration for an antiracist Wales by 2030, we stand in solidarity to say no to all forms of racism. As part of this commitment, we have successfully launched Phase 1 of our anti-racism training delivered by Race Council Cymru and are pleased to report that 90% of our staff have completed the training. Over 50 staff have already completed Phase 2 which began in November 2023.
4. Bringing our Hearing-Impaired Learners Together
One of the most distinctive features of our commitment to inclusion is the Coleg Gwent Deaf Club. The club provides a platform for students who are deaf or hard of hearing to connect, share experiences, and offer support. From sign language workshops to launching a deaf choir, the Deaf Club helps to create a space where everyone can reach their potential.
5. Prayer Mats: A Symbol of Religious Inclusion
During National Inclusion Week 2023, we officially launched the availability of Coleg Gwent branded prayer mats at each of our campuses. The Prayer Mats form part of our approach to fostering an open and welcoming environment, while acknowledging the importance of religious practices and understanding.
6. Supported Internships
Our Care as Currency scheme is designed to encourage more students from South Wales to pursue careers in health and social care. As part of this initiative, students from our Independent Living Skills (ILS)) course have been participating in supported internships at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny for three days a week. The learners work alongside facilities staff in a range of different roles to help develop their employability skills.
7. ALN Support: Nurturing Every Individual
Beyond targeted initiatives, we also provide broad support to ensure that every student feels included and supported. From accessible facilities to health support that cater to diverse needs, the college’s commitment to inclusivity extends to all aspects of campus life.
Nkechi Allen-Dawson, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing manager at Coleg Gwent, said: “Diversity isn’t simply about assembling the right ratio of people with distinctive characteristics or identities. It’s about understanding why those differences are valuable. Firstly, you start to think beyond legally protected characteristics, and you embrace all the nuanced varieties of ‘us’ – those who make up our workforce and our audiences.”
By promoting awareness about different perspectives, offering inclusion support, and providing staff training, we are working hard to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Together, we can make our college a safe and inclusive space for all.
Read more about how we promote diversity and inclusion through our diversity charter.