Southwark College students attended the Personal Safety Information Day, where they met representatives from Elevated Minds, Metropolitan Police, Depaul UK, Healthy Young People Southwark and Abianda, who shared their knowledge, insights, and experiences to empower young people to identify risk and manage personal safety in face to face and online social settings.
During the event, students attended a series of workshops and panel discussions covering various topics to raise awareness of issues relevant to young people and how local organisations can support them. These included exploring harm and support in relationships, hate crime, youth homelessness, drug and alcohol use prevention, using your voice to keep you safe, crime prevention, mental health, body image and cyberbullying.
The workshops and panel discussions were designed to signpost young people to organisations that can support them with developing personal safety skills, such as being assertive, setting boundaries, spotting mental and physical abuse, and learning how to diffuse dangerous situations, as well as helping peers and how to report concerns.
Ibrahim Sheu, a Science student, said: "I really enjoyed this event, it has been an insightful experience for me and my peers to identify when someone is at risk and the steps, we need to take to help them. Knowing who to approach for help is very important for young people, it makes us understand how to deal with tricky situations and feel supported in and outside of college.”
Fiona Stocker, Contextual Safeguarding Lead at Abianda, spoke about elements of personal safety and the challenges young people face. She said: "Having the opportunity to speak with students at Southwark College has been a great experience. Speaking with young people directly is a privilege. It allows us to share information on personal safety and how we can support their wellbeing, helping them spot the signs early, know who to approach and what steps to follow to keep them and their peers safe."
Jane Button, Principal at Southwark College, said: "We are delighted to have hosted the Personal Safety Day at Southwark College. Safeguarding and wellbeing are vital and our partnerships with organisations across the borough create fantastic opportunities for our learners to discuss important issues around personal safety and topics that affect them.
“Our learners tell us they feel that Southwark College is a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, where our community is treated with respect and all learners have the opportunity to study in a space that is safe and where they are listened to. We look forward to continuing working in partnership with Elevated Minds, Metropolitan Police, Borough & Bankside Police, Depaul UK, Healthy Young People Southwark and Abianda to support our learners’ wellbeing and ensure they have the knowledge and contacts they need to access support, keep safe and help their peers when needed."
Southwark College aims to support students during their time at the College. Our Student Services team offer all students a range of support and guidance. To find out more about our range of services, visit southwark.ac.uk/student-services
For information on Safeaguaring and the support available, please visit southwark.ac.uk/safeguarding