Barnsley College students had the chance to listen to a range of guest speakers, including a star of TV’s Gogglebox and an American author, as part of their Week of Culture.
The Week of Culture, a week packed full of interactive talks and workshops created to develop students’ knowledge of other cultures and lifestyles, saw the College virtually welcoming speakers and businesses to deliver sessions on a range of topics from music, education and poetry to careers, mental health and religion.
Baasit Siddiqui, Founder of Siddiqui Education and well-known for appearing on Channel 4’s Gogglebox, shared his journey into education from studying at university and getting a job as a data analyst through to becoming a teacher, appearing on Channel 4’s Gogglebox and later running his own business. He encouraged students to make the most of every opportunity, work as a team where possible, never be afraid to ask for help and never forget to value themselves.
Students also heard from Lisa Kohn, keynote speaker and author of To the Moon and Back. Lisa called from the United States and shared her life story with students. She grew up as part of an extreme religious cult and explained how this impacted on her life. Now, as an individual who describes herself as a spiritual being, Lisa discussed the importance of healing and shared tips on how to practise self-love and self-care.
Nathan Parker, Youth Worker, spoken poet and author, shared his journey into creative writing and poetry, talked about the importance of reading and writing to increase literacy and interpersonal skills and discussed his own process of writing from brainstorming to publishing final drafts.
Students were also joined by saxophonist and pianist, Catherine Rannus; DJ Tor da Force, DJ Promoter, Stage Manager and founder of We Broke Free; Hanif Mohammed, keynote speaker; Mojisola Elufowoju, CEO and Artistic Director of Utopia Theatres; Alex Holmes, CEO of The Diana Award; Gareth Berliner, comedian, actor and writer; Kiruna Stamell, actress who has starred in EastEnders, The Best Offer and Moulin Rouge; plus Laura Whitaker, Joanne Stainforth and Nicola Beardshall from Barnsley Museums.
Lee Perks, Cultural Capital and Personal Development Co-ordinator at Barnsley College, said: “At College we are committed to being actively involved in the social and cultural development of our community, raising aspirations and driving social mobility therefore weeks like this are so important to us as we can offer our students the opportunity to become more aware of different cultures and lifestyles. We would like to thank all of our guest speakers who helped make the week so successful.”