Bournemouth & Poole College secures grant for student safeguarding project

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The HEFCE (Higher Education Funding council for England) has awarded a grant of £50,000 to Bournemouth & Poole College’s project ‘Speak Out and Step Up’ as part of its Catalyst Fund. The fund commits up to £30 million in annual funding. This money aims to drive innovation in the HE sector, enhance excellence and efficiency in HE, and support innovative solutions.

The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson, said: 'The interest and response to HEFCE’s fund has been hugely encouraging. I look forward to seeing the impact of these projects in due course.'*

Bournemouth & Poole College’s project seeks to promote and reinforce positive behaviour among students. It aims to achieve this by engaging and empowering students to speak out and step up through the delivery of activities such as the following:

• Facilitate an Annual Induction Conference introducing the concept of bystander action.

• Develop a tutorial programme (face:face and online) and a calendar of pop up events to reinforce bystander action and promote self-help.

• Implement a fixed term HE Welfare Student Champion (WSC).

• Produce a series of short animations addressing bystander actions.

• Construct an online Virtual Wellbeing Centre (VWC) and toolkit.

• Instigate a Wall of Change initiative to inspire ideas and feedback from students to promote and reinforce the respect agenda.

The project will be delivered to an excess of 600 students over its duration. The college plans to use education and training to impart knowledge and awareness to students, their peers and staff, who in turn will cascade understanding gained to future generations. It will develop and respond to changes in the social and political climate that generate hate crime or unwanted social behaviours.

HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, said: 'We are delighted to be supporting a range of innovative projects, and we will be looking to share good practice and evidence of successful outcomes over the coming months."*

Bournemouth & Poole College’s Director for Student Services, Robin Coe, said ‘'We are really excited about receiving funding for this project, it is a great opportunity for us to further expand on the extensive safeguarding provision we deliver to our college students'

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