Hundreds of young people packed a lecture theatre to hear powerful messages about respect, self-care and keeping safe at a special day of talks and film screenings.
The Conference Day was among a host of events and activities at Bradford College as part of Safeguarding and Wellbeing Week.
“This was the first time we held this event,” said Michelle O’ Neill, Safeguarding Officer at Bradford College. “This was a chance for students to discuss important issues around safeguarding and topics that affect young people in Bradford.”
The first session of the day was Blaming and Belonging Performance (Radicalisation and Prevent), a workshop and performance that focused on the factors that make people vulnerable to radicalisation. It also focused on warning signs as well as handling sensitive and often difficult conversations around the subject. It included a performance from Odd Arts, a charity delivering innovative and creative programmes, across all art forms, with vulnerable and excluded groups.
“The teacher makes you feel powerful”
“The feedback has been really good,” said Michelle. One student commented: “We learnt a lot … the teacher makes you feel powerful.”
Another described the event in three words: “Fabulous, amazing, incredible.”
The powerful Breaking The Cycle project aims to raise awareness around county lines and helping prevent vulnerable young people from becoming trapped into organised crime.
Youth workers led a workshop in which students discussed their perceptions around crime in the Bradford district and supporting others who have become entangled in dangerous situations.
A film highlighted the signs that people including parents, carers and tutors need to look out for in young people involved in serious crime, for example changes in behaviour, routines and body language.
Ending harassment will benefit everyone
Finally, Freedom Personal Safety spoke to staff and higher education students in a session raising awareness around sexual harassment.
Leading the session, the organisation’s learning and development manager Julie Tweedale also spoke about sexual harassment, peer on peer abuse and nurturing healthy relationships.
She said: “Sexual harassment is very damaging. It needs to be talked about, it needs to be challenged, and the fact the college is running this session means it is harder to hide. Tackling harassment will benefit everyone at college.
“The message is clear: Harassment is not tolerated here. Report it, challenge it.”
Bradford College Safeguarding & Wellbeing Week 2021
The sessions were part of a week of events to encourage conversations around safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing.
It aimed to:
• Promote awareness of the support and help that is available for students and staff
• Support colleagues, teams, staff to develop their own knowledge and confidence
• Share good practice
Helping students to feel safe
Bradford College strives constantly to be a safe, happy environment for everyone, making sure every single student and member of staff is treated with respect, dignity and feels safe and listened to.
Resources for help and information
You can find out more at https://www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/help/knowledge-base/safeguarding/
For external advice and support, call the NSPCC on 0800 136 663
You can also visit https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/safeguarding-child-protection-schools