This month we’re celebrating Pride Month, which annually marks the contribution of the LGBTQIA+ community to the world – and indeed to Activate Learning.
You may have noticed our logo has been given a small makeover to reflect the rainbow colours. Please do join us for #ActivatePride.
What is Pride Month?
June is Pride month – a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities across the world.
This year’s Pride Month marks the 50-year anniversary of the first Pride event in the UK. Despite June being Pride Month, many events in the UK are held in July, August and September.
Pride Month is usually celebrated with big parades, marches and events. The month brings communities together and champions acceptance and equality.
Pride celebrates the work of LGBTQIA+ people and their history. It also raises awareness of issues faced and how far LGBTQIA+ rights have come. Unfortunately, there’s still work to be done in some places.
It is all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love. It also calls for people to reflect on the damage homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and acephobia can cause.
Pride Month is celebrated in June as this was the month that the Stonewall riots took place. These riots are an important part of history and influenced LGBTQIA+ rights globally.
Activities during Pride Month at Activate Learning
Across our campuses, you’ll find Pride decorations, awareness campaigns and posters. We’ll also be hosting some exciting events.
Throughout Pride Month, there will also be a selection of workshops and visitors coming on-site to talk about LGBTQIA+ topics.
On Monday 20 June from 12—1:30pm there will be a social session in in the Cube at Bracknell and Wokingham College. On the same day, there will also be a session from 12:30—1:315 in C13 at Reading College.
Speak with your Student Enrichment Officer to learn more about activities and support for LGBTQIA+ students in Berkshire.
On Tuesday 14 June from 12:30—1:30pm there will be a social session on the ground floor of the Scott Building at City of Oxford College Technology Campus, Blackbird Leys.
On Thursday 16 June from 12:30—1:30pm there will be a social session in the Library breakout area at City of Oxford College City Centre Campus.
Staff and students also represented Banbury and Bicester College and City of Oxford College at Oxford Pride 2022. We took part in the main parade with branded t-shirts and Activate Learning banners.
Speak with your Student Enrichment Officer to learn more about activities and support for LGBTQIA+ students in Oxfordshire.
On Wednesday 9 June at 12:30pm there will be a social session in H23 at Merrist Wood College.
Speak with your Student Enrichment Officer or Head of Campus Student Experience to learn more about activities and support for LGBTQIA+ students in Surrey.
You can find a selection of LGBTQIA+ resources for students on Activate Learning Online (ALO).
Pride Month events outside of college
There are plenty of Pride Month events in our local communities too!
Wokingham Pride 2022 is on Saturday 9 July from 11.30am. The parade starts at the Town Hall before making its way down to Elms Field.
Reading Pride’s Love Unites Parade and Festival 2022 is on Saturday 3 September from 12pm at Kings Meadow.
Oxford Pride 2022 is on Saturday 4 June from 10am in the Oxford Castle Quarter, Castle Street.
Bicester Pride 2022 is on Saturday 16 July as part of Bicester Festival.
Banbury Pride 2022 is still awaiting confirmation.
Support for LGBTQIA+ students at Activate Learning
Activate Learning offers dedicated individual and group support for LGBTQIA+ students at our colleges. We work closely with community networks and clubs to offer as extensive support as possible.
Student Support and Safeguarding
Our Student Support and Safeguarding team are here to ensure you are supported and feel safe on campus. We continue to train and upskill our staff to better support all students at our colleges. They can also facilitate referrals as required to other services in the community.
The Student Support team is easily reached if you have any questions or concerns. You can call them on 01865 550 401 between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The role of Student Enrichment Officers at Activate Learning is to help make college life on campus and online a fun, inspiring, and enjoyable place to be for all our students.
They are on hand to support the Students’ Union, Student Representatives and improve the campus experience.
Throughout the academic year, the Student Enrichment team celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community with a range of events.
We have LGBTQIA+ clubs and groups at each of our campuses. Anyone that identifies in the LGBTQIA+ community or as an ally will be welcome to join. These student-led societies meet to offer support, fundraise for charities and events, and organise events for the community in college.
If you are interested in coming along to a meeting or joining the society, please speak to your local Student Enrichment Office or Head of Campus Student Experience. Here’s how to contact them:
- Banbury and Bicester College – Chloe Bowker at email@example.com.
- Bracknell and Wokinhgam College – Caroline Rashbrook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- City of Oxford College – Charlotte Peake at Charlotte.Peake@activatelearning.ac.uk.
- Farnham College – Head of Campus Student Experience, Neil Brookes at Neil.Brookes@ActivateLearning.ac.uk and Deputy Head of Campus, James Jagger at James.Jagger@ActivateLearning.ac.uk.
- Guildford College – Head of Campus Student Experience, Neil Axon at Neil.Axon@ActivateLearning.ac.uk.
- Merrist Wood College – Liz Marsh at email@example.com.
- Reading College – Joanna Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support outside of college
Activate Learning work alongside numerous charities in the UK that support our LGBTQIA+ students. These include:
Switchboard offer a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing.
Mermaids supports transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care. Mermaids offers web chat support to students up to the age of 25, a wide range of events and recruitment of volunteers.
Other local support groups near you include:
- My Umbrella
- LGBTQ+ Youth Group (Tuesday evenings) – a successful youth group which runs off-campus for anyone identifying at LGBTQ+. This is a safe, accepting space to have fun and seek advice and support. This group is run by Bracknell Forest Council and has a ‘closed door’ policy so please speak to your Student Enrichment Officer for details.
What can I do to better understand the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community?
If you’re looking to better understand the LGBTQIA+ community, there are plenty of free resources to learn more. These include the internet, books, magazines, podcasts, films, TV shows, influencers and pioneers. You could also attend a Pride celebration in your local area.