Newton Abbot College has introduced a new LGBTQ+ lapel badge to recognise and support the important work that is being undertaken by its new Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) group.
The group, the brainchild of students throughout the College community, comprises ambassadors in years 7-13 who meet regularly to discuss how to raise support and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.
Year 11 prefect, Cerys Kennedy-Bruyneels, explains the group’s mission statement: “GSA aims to educate students and staff of LGBTQ+ issues and different sexualities and genders and help LGBTQ+ students with any queries they might have about the community. Our mission is to work towards a more accepting environment for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, through education, support, social action and advocacy, and to create a safe, non-judgemental space and support network. We strive to create an alliance between LGBTQ+ students and straight and cisgender students.”
In the coming weeks, ambassadors will roll out their GSA Group proposals during formal assemblies; there will be drop-in sessions created for any students wanting to discuss any issues or concerns they have, an email address set up for those wishing to communicate more confidentially and students will be leading training sessions for members of staff to create a unified approach and support for LGBTQ+ issues.
The new lapel badge, worn by staff and student ambassadors, sees the College’s logo changed from green to the colours of the rainbow flag.
Student Ambassador, Gracie Jacobs, said: ‘Being part of the GSA as an ambassador is a pleasure. It’s great that Newton Abbot College has taken the time to invest in a supportive group network, that openly encourages students of all year groups to learn how to be themselves. I believe that everyone should feel comfortable in their own body; as an ambassador, I take great pride in wearing the badge knowing that students can approach me and know they have someone to talk to.’’