An award-winning inclusive and diverse community  

Our approach to Equality and Diversity is award winning – in 2018 the College was named as the UK Organisation of the Year in the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards for the second year running. We achieved ‘Leaders in Diversity Level 3’ in 2014 and again, for the second time, in 2016. Our outstanding approach to celebrating and enhancing the diversity of our community has seen us win a number awards, which you can read more about here.

Equality and Diversity is at the heart of our thriving, vibrant, and inclusive environment where young people are given the opportunity to explore and celebrate their own differences and those of others. Most importantly, each and every student feels part of the same community in which their own uniqueness is valued. 

Our awards reflect how we work hard to ensure that everyone in our college family is treated fairly, with respect and dignity. We actively seek to eliminate any form of inequality or discrimination on campus and in all aspects of our work. This also helps our young people to prepare for the diverse world they will experience when progressing to university or work.

Our approach focuses on ensuring that we help everyone understand the vital aspects of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are passionate about bringing the positives of diversity alive through opportunities to engage, celebrate and explore. We believe that this can be fun and exciting, and delivered in a way that is enjoyable for all.

The College’s commitment to equality and diversity is set out in our Equal Opportunities Policy and associated action plans. Our staff, students and governors are all central to achieving our equality and diversity aims and ensuring our college is a pleasant, supportive and safe environment in which to study and work.

Our award-winning approach means that each and every student, regardless of background, can thrive – our team of Student and Staff Diversity Champions take responsibility for embedding the ethos of the College, and celebrating our approach at every opportunity.

 

Meet the Diversity Champions!

Back row (left to right); Lisa Matusiewicz, Laura Mallalieu, Tom Smith, Joe Howson, Erika Montgomery, Drew Norbury, and College Receptionist, Angela

Lower row (left to right); Emily Bolton, Emma Fisher, Jess Law, Samantha Daley and Neville Phillips

Our focus is very much on bringing Equality and Diversity to life in order to help our young people become informed, well-rounded young adults. This can range from discussing with a student the impact of using a particular term on an informal basis to large scale events. We passionately believe that by helping students to understand the vital importance of this topic through engaging activities and opportunities to get involved, they will develop a deeper understanding of why Equality and Diversity are so important.

Each year, our programme of work changes in response to feedback. Previous activities have included anti-bullying focus weeks, International Women’s Day celebrations, charitable events and a ‘tree of kindness.’ In 2017/18, alongside two high profile ‘Diversity Weeks’, we will offer a continued programme of advice, support and information.

You can gain a flavour of our work here. Our guide for students also gives a useful insight into how we communicate with students about this topic.

Our news section features many of our events, please visit this for an insight into how we bring Equality and Diversity alive for students.

 

Our award-winning approach to Equality and Diversity is led by a team of staff who are all passionate about helping students to celebrate and value individual differences. Our Diversity Champions all volunteer their time and expertise in a variety of ways. The team also champion Equality and Diversity throughout the College, encouraging students to ask questions and share ideas and feedback.

Here we provide a brief introduction to the team and an insight into why they are so passionate about ensuring we are an inclusive environment.

Erika Montgomery, Equality and Diversity Manager and Specialist Teacher

“As the College’s Equality and Diversity Manager I have the privilege of working with a dynamic team of Diversity Champions. Our collective aim is to celebrate the rich diversity of our College community and ultimately promote equality. We are a creative team and enjoy planning a varied calendar of events each year including: our ‘Respect’ competition, National Anti-Bullying Week, Cultural Diversity, International Women’s Day, LGBTQ+ and Disability/Hidden Disability Awareness events. I always look forward to the effervescent meetings with our Student Diversity Champions, in which they share ideas about future projects to further promote and celebrate the rich diversity of our College community. I also enjoy building partnerships with a range of local organisations and charities in order to fundraise and raise awareness of wider equality themes, including community cohesion and youth engagement. My passion for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion stems from a career in teaching and a core belief that with encouragement and support, the bounteous talents of our students can be harnessed and nurtured. I am incredibly proud to be a member of the brilliant Equality and Diversity Team at Huddersfield New College and honoured to have been awarded ‘UK Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2017’ by the National Centre for Diversity.”

Drew Norbury, Games Development Teacher

“I have been a proud employee of Huddersfield New College for almost ten years and an active member of the Equality and Diversity Team since September 2016.  As an individual I pride myself on an egalitarian and libertarian approach to life, and I strive to treat others as I would expect to be treated. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect.  It is this ethos that encouraged me to become a teaching professional within a College that works hard to celebrate equality and diversity. During my time at New College, I have worked extensively with students from a range of backgrounds, and I take pride in building relationships with my students so that they feel confident and able to approach me if they need additional support. Recently I have arranged a trip to a production by ‘Mind the Gap’, a local theatre production company that works with students who have additional learning needs, to help those with Autism gain work experience placements.”

Emily Bolton, Progress Tutor and Health Promotion Champion

“As the College’s Health Promotion Champion, I work alongside the Equality and Diversity Team to deliver events that promote health and wellbeing on campus. These events play an integral part in promoting themes of health, wellbeing and diversity to staff and students, which I believe contributes to making the College an outstanding place to work and study. I thoroughly enjoy participating in these events; it’s so encouraging to see our students actively engage in celebrating diversity. My showcase event, the Wellbeing Fair, is now in its third year, and is an integral date in the College calendar for promoting a range of health-related matters, which also relate to diversity, for example, in terms of mental health and wellbeing.”

Emma Fisher, Health and Social Care Teacher

“The Equality and Diversity Team plays an essential role in creating the positive and welcoming atmosphere that we are lucky to have here at the College, and I am privileged that I am able to be part of this. We are constantly working to find different ways in which we can promote and celebrate equality and diversity amongst both staff and students, and I have worked on a variety of projects since becoming a Diversity Champion. As a member of the Health and Social Care Department, one of the areas that I am actively engaged with is promoting awareness of hidden disabilities. I believe that it is so important to do this as you never know what another person is going through around you and you should never make assumptions. I love how the College is supportive of its diverse and vibrant community and I am proud that the work that we do as a team contributes to this.”

Angela Dalgleish, Receptionist

“As the College’s Receptionist, I am in a unique position to see how positively visitors to the College view our dedication to promoting equality and diversity on campus. I love how we as a College involve our students in celebrating equality and diversity through different events and projects, and I believe our success as a team is enhanced by our Student Diversity Champions.  I recently had the pleasure of working with the student team and together we have updated our ‘Equality and Diversity Mini Guide for Students’.  I was so impressed with their enthusiasm for promoting equality and diversity within the College, and their understanding of why respect is so important. They truly are wonderful ambassadors for themselves and the College.  As well as producing student guides relating equality and diversity, I have also created pocket guides for staff and Governors.  I am very proud that my work in this area led to being short-listed for the ‘Most Innovative EDI Initiative’ of the Year at the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards 2017.”

Jessica Law, Progress Tutor

“I have been part of the Equality and Diversity Team since September 2016 and have really enjoyed contributing to the awareness-raising events and activities that help to promote these values throughout our community. As a team we work hard to embed and further promote the College’s mission of providing high quality education in a friendly, supportive and inclusive environment. As a Progress Tutor, I have the opportunity to work with students on a daily basis to help spread our core messages of respect and tolerance. I feel lucky to be part of a team that encourages a proactive approach, and inspires our staff and students to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes. I am really proud to be a part of an organisation that aims to make a positive difference to the experience of others.”

Samantha Daley, Communications Officer

“I am proud that the College I am part of genuinely celebrates equality and diversity, and that we have been recognised for our work in this area by the National Centre for Diversity. Although I have always worked closely with the Equality and Diversity Team due to my role in the College’s Marketing Department, an opportunity arose to join the team formally, and I haven’t looked back! I really enjoy helping to support the College in raising awareness and standards of the themes surrounding equality, diversion and inclusion. Part of my role as Diversity Champion includes working alongside the Student Diversity Champions as a Mentor, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to help spread tolerance and respect throughout our community.”

 

Our Student Diversity Champions joined our team for many and varied reasons. Find out why below!

I joined the Student Equality and Diversity Team because I think it’s important that everyone is treated equally, and that everyone is supported to be confident in who they are. I think that College really helps to support people to be individuals and I have enjoyed being a part of that. One of the areas of equality and diversity I am really interested in is anti-bullying, and taking part in the College’s Anti-Bullying Pledge allowed me to help others who may have been affected. I think the work that the College does promoting equality helps the College to be a nice place to study.

Alice, Student Diversity Champion

Salve ego sum Nik! I am a Science student, studying Chemistry, Biology and Physics. In my spare time, I also like to study languages (Spanish, Latin, Japanese and Swahili), Sociology, Political Science and Psychology, which I use for world building but it also comes in useful for my role in the Student Equality and Diversity team!

I joined the team due to my passion and personal experiences with regards to the treatment toward the LGBTQ+ communities and my desire to see a change in the treatment of these communities. 

Nikolai, Student Diversity Champion

I joined the Student Equality and Diversity Team during my first year of studying at HNC, because I loved the events that the team put together as they reflected very strong messages about Equality and Diversity. One of my favourite events was related to hidden disabilities- we ran several actives including teaching sign language. This was one of the most informative experiences that I have had in College, as it taught me the importance of empathy and how we must always be mindful of any hardships that other people may be experiencing.

I have learned many things from being a part of the Student Equality and Diversity Team, and I will take these lessons with me wherever I go!

Murriam, Student Diversity Champion

I am an active member of the Student Equality and Diversity Team at College. I feel very passionate about representing the team, and this passion inspires me to participate in the various events that we host to promote the themes of inclusivity and tolerance. The team also inspires me to help spread my understanding of Equality and Diversity throughout the wider community. I enjoy being a member of the team because I have grown as a person and I have gained numerous skills that are transferable, and I hope these skills will lead me to making a difference within my community. From my role within the team I am also able to demonstrate increased awareness of Equality and Diversity in my part-time job within the hospitality industry. 

Laura, Student Diversity Champion

I applied to become a Student Diversity Champion as I want to make a positive difference to the College environment. In addition, I want everyone in the College to feel comfortable and for peoples’ differences to be celebrated. During my first year at College I have contributed to a range of events that celebrate diversity including, signing the Anti-Bullying Pledge and making rainbow ribbons to raise awareness of Stonewall’s LGBTQ+ ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign. I am particularly passionate about raising awareness of hidden disabilities such as anxiety and depression.

Alex, Student Diversity Champion

I became a Student Diversity Champion because it gave me the opportunity to raise awareness of subjects that students may not have any prior knowledge of. I am also committed to the idea that respect for one another’s differences is important. Along with this, I enjoy raising awareness about disabilities and hidden conditions that are not always visible.  What I enjoy the most about being a member of the team is the opportunity to meet new people from across the College. Being a member of the team also gives you opportunities to take on new challenges and learn new skills (such as events management) that are transferable to our future studies and careers. 

Tayyib, Student Diversity Champion

I applied to become a Student Diversity Champion because I want learn more about other cultures and religions as it has been an interest of mine for a few years now. I enjoy being on the Student Diversity Team because all of us are different and we learn from each other. This is the third year I have been part of the team, and I have learnt many things about different cultures, religions, and disabilities from past and present students. Having this team allows the College to focus on celebrating the differences within our community. The events we have hosted, both internally and externally, have brought many people together, and that is our main aim! 

I work within the events industry outside of College and we have a lot of customers with physical or hidden disabilities. The Equality and Diversity training I received last year at College has helped me understand how to better my communication with others who may have additional needs. I also mentor a couple of children- some with learning disabilities- and I have learnt through my role as a Student Diversity Champion that patience and understanding is key. We have to understand others' needs as we are all individuals.

Tamika, Student Diversity Champion

I am a Student Diversity Champion and a student journalist writing for the HNC magazine ‘The Echo’. I have combined my roles so that I can reflect the wide range of subjects relating to equality and diversity, which helps us to spread awareness of our team to the wider student community.  I have been a member of the Student Diversity Team since September 2016 and enjoy participating in, and reporting on, events such as ‘International Women’s Day’ and ‘Cultural Diversity Day’. I love having a positive impact and making a difference to peoples’ lives.

Margueritte, Student Diversity Champion

I applied to become a member of the Student Diversity Team as I think equality is crucial in our diverse society. I believe that by being aware of- and challenging- the inequalities certain groups face in society, we can shape our world to be a better place for everyone. I am passionate about acceptance and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, and have previously attended meetings speaking on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth in West Yorkshire. I strive to make the society around me as aware, equal and diverse as possible.

Isabella, Student Diversity Champion

I study Health and Social Care and Applied Science. I joined the Student Diversity Team because I believe that everybody should be treated equally and that we should celebrate our differences. I believe it is part of my role as a Student Diversity Champion to ensure that people know that it is ok to be different. I enjoy being a part of this team; we all want to make a difference within the College to make it a supportive environment for everybody to feel confident and comfortable in. At HNC I am also a Course Representative and this supports my role as a Diversity Champion as I am able to listen to students and respond to feedback when there is anything they would like to change within the College environment.

Abbie, Student Diversity Champion

I applied to be a Student Diversity Champion because I wanted to be able to contribute to making our College environment fair and unprejudiced. As a black, female student, I know I could possibly face discrimination, and I want to use this to fuel my passion for equality and to make society a better place for everyone, even if it starts in a small community like College. Being a Student Diversity Champion allows me to take part in events which promote ideals that I greatly believe in.

Dilli, Student Diversity Champion

As a student at Huddersfield New College, we are surrounded by diversity, and I believe it’s important for everyone to be recognised and celebrated. I am proud to be a Student Diversity Champion. I applied for the role as I wanted to be able to support other people, regardless of their ability or background. I enjoy being a Student Diversity Champion as it means I am included in many different things, from awareness raising events to Equality and Diversity training. I think it’s very important to have a Student Equality and Diversity Team at College, as it allows every student to be able to find out about Equality and Diversity in a way that is easy to understand. So far I have been involved in celebrating LGBTQ+ by making rainbow ribbons for students and staff to wear on their lanyards, and I have helped to create a diversity tree, in which members of college signed a leaf showing how they would each support and celebrate diversity inside and outside of College. On our Cultural Diversity Day, I was also involved in celebrating different cultures, by serving dishes from many diverse backgrounds. I love taking part in events that help to make a difference to our community.

Niamh, Student Diversity Champion

Below you can find a selection of feedback and quotes reflecting the impact of our work in this important area. 

"Equality of opportunity is central to the College’s mission.  Learners are valued for who they are and this in turn results in a respectful and harmonious learner community, in which all members accept each other’s differences."

- Ofsted

“I am very impressed at the work that has been done at HNC to embed EDI into all aspects of College life and this cascades from governors and leaders to all staff and students.  Congratulations to HNC in achieving Leaders in Diversity for the second time. It is an award that is truly deserved because of the exemplary practice and commitment to EDI that I have observed, which ensures there is an inclusive culture within College. HNC does live the values!”

- Jo Barton, Leaders in Diversity Assessor