Staff and students from Petroc gathered outside the college’s North Devon Campus this morning (February 1, 2019), dressed in the colours of the rainbow, to celebrate the beginning of LGBT+ History Month and raise the LGBT+ flag.

The flag, which is recognised as the international symbol for LGBT+ causes, was raised by the college’s Governor, David Chalmers, who is a member of Petroc’s EDI committee. It will remain in front of the main campus building throughout February.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution members of the LGBT+ community have made to society throughout history,” said David.

“Last year we saw our first pride march in Barnstaple and here at Petroc I am really proud of what we do as a college to support LGBT+ students and staff,” he added.

As part of LGBT+ History Month the college’s Student Union and the LGBT+ group are organising a number of events. On the 25th, Helen Belcher, a well-known and highly-regarded campaigner for LGBT+ equality, will be delivering a talk at the college, and a number of local organisations will have stands on site to give advice and share information.

The LGBT+ group is also running a campaign throughout February to encourage staff and students to sign a pledge, to show their support for their LGBT+ colleagues and peers. In addition, the college is forming a LGBT+ network for staff.

Debbie Keates, a student support worker at Petroc who also runs the LGBT+ group, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people outside the college this morning, despite the bad weather, showing their support and raising awareness. It means a lot to know we have allies within the community.”