Nelson and Colne College and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation have come together to celebrate individuality and difference.
The ‘This Is Me’ event saw Sophie Lancaster’s mum Sylvia deliver talks to students in a packed lecture theatre while students were also encouraged to contribute to an expression wall by creating individual pieces of work such as posters, messages, lyrics, poems and art to celebrate individuality, difference, unity, love and peace.
External agencies and enterprising students had stalls in college on the day, including the college’s Foundation Learning department who were selling a wide range of products they had made themselves, from accessories such as bags, bookmarks and key rings through to food including pakoras and samosas. There was also a raffle and a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ game which helped raise over £600 on the day.
Sehar Syeda, 17, studying A Levels in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy, Ethics and Religion said: “During the Sylvia Lancaster talk I learnt a lot about different subcultures, and how they are discriminated against.
“I learnt how the Sophie Lancaster Foundation is helping subcultures, coming together to celebrate each other’s differences and campaigning for everybody’s safety. It is good that Nelson and Colne College is committed to helping make a difference to society.”
George Emmett, 17, studying A Levels in English Language, English Literature and Law said: “I found the Sylvia Lancaster talk eye-opening and very personal. I am pleased that the college has done the ‘This is Me’ event, as it is very important.”
‘This Is Me’ culminated in a showcase of individuality and difference where students and staff expressed themselves through a cat walk parade, and those taking part were encouraged to wear their own individual style of clothing or show off what makes them unique.
Sylvia Lancaster, from Haslingden, said: “I am very proud to have been a part of the ‘This is Me’ event. I get asked back by the college year after year and it is an honour.
“The students have been amazing, I couldn’t have asked for any better. You could hear a pin drop during both sessions.
“Today has been good fun, but it has also had a deeper meaning. It is vitally important to me to get the message out there about the importance of individuality and difference – it is so important to allow people to be who they are.”
Sue Hartley, from Nelson and Colne College’s Foundation Learning department said: “Thank you to everybody who supported ‘This Is Me’ – it was a true celebration of diversity.
“All proceeds and donations made on the day will go to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to enable Sylvia and the team to continue their wonderful charitable work in relation to Hate Crime Prevention.”
For more information on Nelson and Colne College visit www.nelson.ac.uk or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.
For more information on the Sophie Lancaster Foundation visit www.sophielancasterfoundation.com