Huddersfield New College revealed students and staff are being invited to take part in a virtual celebration to mark the return to College by creating a leaf which will eventually be hung on a ‘Tree of Gratitude.’

Over the next two weeks the HNC Community will be reflecting on the reasons they are happy to return to Campus or what they are most excited about in terms of their new start. If they are in Year 13 they will be invited to complete a sentence that starts ‘I’m glad to be back because…’ and if they are new student joining in Year 12 complete a sentence ‘The thing I’m most looking forward to about my new life at College is…’

These can be emailed to news@huddnewcoll.ac.uk where they will be placed in a virtual leaf. These will then be collated into an ePublication and shared as a collective celebration of the positives of being able to return to College whilst we are all adjusting to living life in a new normal. The leaves will feature first names only, so will be anonymous. HNC hopes when the time is right, that these can be printed and hung on the College’s wooden tree as a special display.

All students who send a submission will be entered into a prize draw to win one of two £20 Amazon vouchers to purchase something to support their self-care during these busy times.

The College’s wooden tree makes regular appearances as part of HNC’s Equality and Diversity themed weeks and celebrations.  As the number One College in the UK for Equality and Diversity, these celebrations allow students to explore and value their own individual differences and those of others, and build their understanding of how they can play their part in ensuring we all live in a genuinely inclusive and tolerant society.

Erika Montgomery, Director of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement comments: “Our tree is a really lovely way we bring to life our approach to Equality and Diversity, and help our students to explore that although we all have our own unique differences we are part of the same warm and welcoming community. It normally makes an appearance at range of events such as our Love has No Labels event earlier this year."

"Whilst the new normal means we cannot gather to write messages out in groups to hang on our tree at the moment, we are determined that we will adapt our usual activities so that our young people can continue to enjoy exploring this important topic. Our virtual ‘Tree of Gratitude’ will encourage students to reflect on the positives of returning to College, and what is special about their College community. In these often challenging times it has never been more important to pause and reflect on the many things there are to be thankful about and to be kind to ourselves and each other. We can’t wait to celebrate all the many positives of returning to HNC and look forward to reading more about what both staff and students think!”