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Inspiration behind BAFTA-winning movie visits Barnsley College

Barnsley College students with Jamie Campbell (middle) as part of Barnsley College’s Pride Week.

Students at Barnsley College had the opportunity to meet Jamie Campbell, the inspiration behind sell-out West End show and BAFTA-winning movie, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’. Jamie, and a panel of other speakers, were invited into College as part of Pride Week, a College-wide  initiative to raise awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community during LGBT History Month.

Students were invited to watch the screening of ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, followed by a Q&A with the inspiration himself. Students quizzed Jamie on a range of topics from style and his experiences at school, to his biggest achievements and career goals. Jamie discussed his plans for the future, including his hopes to release a fashion brand and book.

Jamie said: “I have really enjoyed meeting all the fabulous students today – they’ve all been really amazing and I’ve just loved it. It’s been nice coming back to education as that wasn’t really the best time for me, so it’s great to meet new students and see how they are.

“I definitely wish I had something like this when I was studying. I was one of the only gay people in my school and we didn’t have anything like this when I was there… I was just battling it on my own, so this just shows that [Barnsley College] is a supportive environment. I think every school and college should be doing this!”

Students also had the chance to hear from Andreena Leanne, published Author and Poet, Lived Experience Speaker and Writing Workshop Facilitator. Andreena delivered an interactive session on identity, intersectionality and ‘allyship’. She discussed her experiences with micro-aggressions and provided direction, advice and guidance to those who may have experienced similar hardship throughout their lives.

Andreena shared her knowledge of power within society and encouraged students to be the change whilst not letting anything hold them back.

Stephanie Hirst, Radio Presenter, Keynote Speaker and Barnsley College alumni, was last to visit the College as part of Pride Week and delivered her fascinating ‘Believe, Achieve’ workshop. Stephanie shared the view that everyone should be celebrated for their differences as she outlined her inner turmoil with success as she felt trapped in the wrong body.

Since her transition, Stephanie has continued to see the rewards of her courage and talent in the media industry as she received an Honorary Doctorate for her contribution to public life, was the face of Kurt Geiger’s ‘Be Kind’ campaign and hosted the very successful ‘Steph’s Kitchen Bangers’ campaign on Facebook during lockdown.

Students also met Raychel McGuin, Artist and Polychrometrist, and made jewellery; took part in mindful activities such as sand art to express their identity; and met Ivy Alexxander, DJ and Drag Queen, and watched her performance and make-up demonstration.

Jess Lovatt, Student Voice Advisor at Barnsley College, was responsible for arranging the week for students. She added:

“We had a busy week with lots of inspirational guests. We enjoyed welcoming speakers from a variety of backgrounds, giving students fantastic advice to help them navigate their adult lives no matter how they identify or with which communities they associate with.

“The College and its staff work hard to provide assurance that equality and diversity is a priority, permeating everything that we do, improving the lives of our students and not just existing in a world of good intentions. The College continues to transform lives and help students to fulfil their full potential by providing them with an outstanding experience and I would like to thank all the guest speakers for taking the time to visit us.”

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