This year, Shrewsbury Colleges Group have launched an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion campaign this year #ProudToBe, where they will be highlighting characteristics of diversity through activities and events.

The campaign was orchestrated after discussions between staff and students in an equality, diversity, and inclusion working group.

Dan Blasczyk, Student Engagement Coach at the college, has been working closely with students on the project:

“After speaking to students, the initial idea put forward was to encourage students to bring in a flag of their choice which could be country of birth, ancestry, or religion and we could then get a big group photo of students to show how diverse we are. Several students then asked if they could hold a flag which represented their special educational needs, disability, gender, and sexuality.”

Roan Gummery is a Level 2 Business student who lives in Wolverhampton. He is part of the college’s equality, diversity, and inclusion group and is also a youth social action ambassador for the Association of Colleges youth social action programme this year.

A student of proud Jamaican heritage, he has been working with staff to get as many students engaged and aware of the #ProudToBe campaign and helped organise the launch. He commented:

“When I was approached and asked me for my thoughts on the launch and the flag picture I was actually buzzing with excitement.

“I have lots of friends at the college from different parts of the world such as Pakistan, Romania, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa. I messaged all my friends to encourage them to bring their flag in on the day. When we did the launch, it was the tail end of the summer so the sun was shining, we had a big group of students holding a variety of flags and the atmosphere was great.

“On the day I decided to wear my England shirt and hold the Jamaican flag as I wanted to show both sides of my heritage. I love Jamaican food, the music and culture but equally I’m passionate about England.”


Joseph Tomkins is a Level 3 Creative Media student at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, and he has been integral in capturing equality, diversity, and inclusion in the college, he felt the initial group photo would be a good opportunity to ask students why they had chosen to hold their flag. Joseph and his fellow students took group photos then conducted interviews with various students on the day.

Joseph said:

 “We were recently asked if any of us were interested in supporting this cross-college project. I suggested that the campaign could have two elements - the first to celebrate diversity and our identity but a second aspect to raise awareness of disability and special educational needs in the college.

“Being on the autistic spectrum myself I jumped at the chance to help raise awareness of these issues. I want to shine a spotlight on autism and help people understand how diverse our experiences really are. 

“I have really enjoyed challenging myself doing something new, and love opportunities like this that can potentially make a real difference at college and maybe beyond. I like to think of my life as one big learning experience that continuously grows with each project and collaboration. I hope to one day be a successful director and use my skills to educate and entertain people all over the world.

“On the initial launch of the campaign I got the opportunity to interview students and ask them about their flag. Some of our students held their flag of birth and talked about how proud they were of their culture and heritage whilst some of our students wanted to celebrate that they had a special educational need that has not held them back. For example, one of our performing arts students held a flag which represented ADHD. In her interview she explained that she has so much energy and is loud, but this is a gift for her as she aims to become an actress and perform at the west end.”


Students and staff are now planning the next big cross college event which will be during diversity week in February highlighting and celebrating religion, race, and culture. Students will be encouraged to wear traditional clothing, bring in traditional food for other students to try, and we will also educate students on our different beliefs.

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