1. Luminate Education Group launches new training centre for businesses

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    Luminate Education Group, a leading provider of education in Yorkshire, has launched a new training centre in the heart of Yorkshire to boost the skills needs of the region’s economy. 

    The Yorkshire Centre for Training and Development (YCTD) will offer bespoke training packages, specific to business needs and employee requirements.

    The centre will encompass the education group’s teaching expertise from Leeds City, Keighley and Harrogate colleges, delivering a range of compliance, professional development and redundancy support courses. 

    Lee Pryor, Director for YCTD, said: “With the ever-changing economic climate, we recognise businesses’ need to adapt their employees’ skills, to ensure a successful post-Brexit and post-Covid-19 transition. 

    “Our service will start with a complimentary skills planning session to understand the business, so that we can effectively identify its training needs, and match these to a budget. We will be offering in-person as well as virtual sessions that fit around the organisation’s schedule. We will then develop a bespoke training solution that meets those needs.

    “We’ll be working with a range of sectors, from law, education and social care, to engineering, digital, hospitality and hair and beauty. We want to support as many organisations as possible to grow and thrive, as they navigate the current economic challenges.”

    YCTD will be based in dedicated spaces across Leeds, Harrogate and Keighley. 

    To find out more or to book a complimentary skills planning session, please call 07814 818826.

  2. Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month

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    What is LGBTQ+ History Month?

    First launched in the UK in 2005, LGBT+ History Month is an annual celebration promoting the education of LGBTQ+ issues and the history of the gay rights movement. The month aims to encourage a safer, more inclusive society where the diverse spectrum of sexuality and gender is accepted and discussed openly.

    Schools OUT, an organisation aiming to make schools safe and inclusive for LGBTQ+ students, brought about the first LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK, sparking over 150 events across the country in its first year. 

    This year’s theme is Body, Mind and Spirit. There are many ways you can get involved this year, including OUTing the Past presentations, LGBTQ+ curriculum lesson plans, taking a look at interesting resources and much more.

    What does it mean to identify as LGBTQ+?

    We asked members of the college LGBTQ+ Society what it meant to them. 

    “To me, identifying as LGBTQ+ means having comfort knowing that even if you don’t have anyone close who supports you, there’s always a community, a family, behind you ready to support you 100%. It means having a place to belong even if you don’t feel like you’re worthy of taking up the space you exist in.​” 

    “Being LGBTQ+ is standing out and being different from other people, being true to yourself and being who you truly are for yourself and not others.”

    “It feels like a relief that I’m not the only one who is different. It feels nice when I find someone who is the same as me, as we can help each other because we both know how hard it is to struggle with our sexuality. It feels good having people to talk to about this type of subject, as not everyone understands how you feel.”

    “Being LGBTQ+ to me means that I’m free to be who I am no matter what and I’m surrounded by people who are like me and accept me.”

    LGBTQ+ triumphs in history

    Over the past years, there has been significant progress in recognising the rights of LGBTQ+ people. However, it’s important to take time to reflect on this and how it happened. 


    The Beaumont Society was founded, providing information to the general public, medical and legal professions on ‘transvestism’ and promoted research aimed at a further understanding. The word ‘transvestism’ is no longer used and the current terminology for this is now ‘trans’.

    This society is now the UK’s largest and longest running support group for transgender people and their families.


    This year marks an important milestone in LGBTQ+ history, as the government implements recommendations from the Wolfenden Report for the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially legalised same-sex acts in the UK between men over the age of 21 conducted in private. 

    Although an important breakthrough towards equality, there was still a long way to go.


    The UK Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was set up following the Stonewall Riots in New York over the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by police. Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans-activist, is a key inspirational figure in LGBTQ+ history, as she sparked a series of protests across the world following the Stonewall incident. 

    The GLF campaigned for rights of LGBTQ+ people, encouraging them to question the mainstream institutions in society which led to their oppression. 

    Often protesting in solidarity with other oppressed groups, the GLF launched the very first Pride march in 1972. Pride is now a hugely successful yearly event which is incredibly important for raising awareness of LGBTQ+ and acts as a symbol for oppressed people around the globe. 


    Although the GLF disbanded, this made way for the Campaign for Homosexual Equality; a Manchester-based organisation leading the fight for equality by legal reform. 


    The Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 was repealed, meaning students were now able to learn about homosexuality and LGBTQ+ history and rights, with the aim to create a more inclusive environment.


    The Civil Partnership Act was introduced, allowing same-sex couples to legally enter into binding partnerships.

    During this year, the Gender Recognition Act was brought in which gave trans people full legal recognition of their gender, providing them with a new birth certificate.


    LGBTQ+ employees were protected from discrimination, harrassment and victimisation at work through the Equality Act

    This also brought together existing legislation and added protection for trans workers.


    This year marked a significant benchmark in LGBTQ+ history, with the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act allowing same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry. Scotland shortly followed suit with the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act in 2014.

    It’s clear to see the progress that has been made over the last half century, but there is still much more to do for equality and social acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. 

    The LGBTQ+ community are still not treated equally in the UK and face oppression around the world. This month is particularly important in helping to fight for these rights and raise awareness. 

    We can learn from the lessons from our past history and use them to address the issues we still face in today’s society. 

    Celebrating at college

    This year, we will be celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month digitally! Take a look at our list of exciting events and resources across the Luminate Education Group here.

    Take part in our Pride Rainbow Quiz here.

    See how to join in on our LGBTQ+ competition here.

    For further details and information regarding resources or college events please contact or 

    Look at the Harrogate College Student Life Google Classroom to see how you can get involved in activities

    LGBTQ+ support 

    If you are struggling with mental health or just want to chat, there is plenty of support available.

    LGBTQ+ Society

    As a student at Harrogate College, you have access to the Leeds City College LGBTQ+ Society, which provides a safe space for those who identify as LGBTQ+ to be fully themselves without fear of judgement, criticism or discrimination. The society also welcomes straight allies who are encouraged to attend events.

    If you’d like to get involved, visit the page here to see what’s going on. 

    LGBTQ+ Foundation

    The foundation provides a helpline staffed by a team of dedicated staff and volunteer operators who have extensive training.

    Stonewall Youth

    Find information on coming out, health, and LGBTQ+ community groups near you.


    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer mental health service.

    Mermaids UK

    Support for transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people and their families.

    Gendered Intelligence

    Access a number of resources by and for trans young people and gender questioning young people in the UK and beyond.


    Harrogate-based group which offers support and advice to young LGBTQ+ people (aged 13-25). 

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the LGBTQ+ terminology and definitions, take a look at the Stonewall glossary here

  3. Student promotes wellbeing through shoebox initiative

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    Aspiring mental health nurse, Karis Grange, knows first-hand how mental health can affect wellbeing and is determined to support those who are suffering.

    As part of her college social action project, Karis has been volunteering at the Recovery Shoebox Project; a charity providing mental health toolkits for individuals who are struggling.

    A worthy cause

    After receiving a shoebox herself, Karis appreciated the thought and care that went into the box and wanted to help in making a difference.

    “When I was going through a difficult time, the shoebox really cheered me up – I couldn’t believe the effort that had been put into my bespoke box. I decided to volunteer at the Recovery Shoebox Project as my placement, as I wanted to encourage those struggling to not suffer in silence.

    “The initiative was founded and funded by Harrogate resident, Megan Reid, who sadly passed away in February 2019. Her mother, Jo, carried on the project in her honour in order to help individuals with mental health difficulties.

    “Due to Covid-19, the past year has been extremely difficult for many people, especially those suffering from mental health issues. The shoeboxes include useful items, such as tips to manage anxiety, self care ideas, stress balls and Megan’s envelopes of distractions and positivity.”

    Working with the project

    Each week, Karis works with the shoebox initiative to create tailored packages.

    “It’s amazing to be involved with such an important cause. I help organise the boxes and contribute to tips on how to manage insomnia, anxiety and PTSD, quote strips and reasons to carry on fighting. 

    “I really want to promote the message ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ and for individuals to reach out if they’re struggling.”

    Promoting wellbeing

    Karis studies Health and Social Care Extended Diploma Level 3 at Harrogate College and hopes to become a mental health nurse in the future.

    “Following a break from my studies last year due to my mental and physical health, I returned to college determined to pursue a career in the care sector. I’m passionate about talking to other young individuals about the importance of positive mental health.

    “Harrogate College has supported me to achieve my best, constantly helping me work towards my ambition of becoming a mental health nurse.

    “Working with the Recovery Shoebox Project helps me learn how to manage mental health illnesses. If my support with the shoebox has helped even one individual, it will have been incredibly worthwhile. Don’t suffer in silence – order a box if you’re struggling.”

    Read more about how you can work with the charity here.

  4. Studying from home

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    The government’s recent national lockdown announcement means many of us will be remote working and learning until at least 8 March. 

    We know remote learning can be challenging at times, so here are some useful tips to help you learn effectively from home.

    Wake up

    Set your alarm for the same time you would for school. This helps structure your day, giving you plenty of time to wake yourself up, have some breakfast and prepare for the day ahead.

    Get dressed

    Changing into some comfortable clothes when you wake up will help make you feel more productive.

    Find a work space

    Choose an area which is comfortable and quiet, away from noise and distractions. Set up a desk space somewhere, such as your kitchen table, so you can feel like you’re in a classroom. 


    Make sure to schedule in regular breaks where you can stretch your legs, move around and get a drink or a snack. It’s a good idea to have some time away from your screen or phone during these breaks, leaving your brain feeling refreshed and ready to learn when you get back to your desk.

    Stay organised

    Try and use your college workbooks when studying, this will help to keep all your work in one place and will avoid the risk of losing any work. Find a safe place, such as a spare drawer, to keep your work in.


    When you’ve finished learning for the day, pack up your things and move away from your workspace. This is really important, as it allows you to relax and reach a good study/life balance. 

    Fresh air and exercise

    Try to get some fresh air and exercise each day. During your breaks, head outside for five minutes to keep you feeling refreshed. At the end of your study day, try to get outside for a walk, this will really help to clear your mind and relax. 

    We appreciate that working and learning from home can be difficult for many, and we’re here to support each student. Please get in touch with your tutor or mentor at the college if you want to have a chat.

    To find out more about online activities and groups to join during this time, get in touch with

    There are also many local support groups who can help you through lockdown.

    Mind in Harrogate

    A charity promoting positive mental health across the district. Provides support through a telephone and email service.

    North Yorkshire Mental Health Helpline

    Free confidential service where you can discuss your mental health by calling 0800 561 0076.

  5. Harrogate College launches summer programme for new students

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    Harrogate College has launched a Summer Transition Programme to prepare students for joining in September.

    Launching on Monday 6 July, the weekly activities aim to support students in starting successfully at the college. All new students can access the scheme, allowing them to meet tutors and classmates and begin developing course-focused skills.

    Run on Google Classrooms, the fun tasks will be specific to various course groups. Each 30-minute session will encourage students to communicate virtually through face-to-face videos with tutors, who will be introducing students to their chosen course through a range of activities. As part of the programme, students will also be practising English and maths skills in preparation for September.

    Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, said: “This programme is a fantastic way to ensure our new students feel comfortable and confident for starting in September. It gives learners a head start in their academic journey, ensuring they have a strong understanding of their course and the skills required to excel.

    “We have carefully crafted the programme based on each course. The Science sessions will focus on infections and control, whereas Health and Social Care will provide insight into development and mental health. All our programmes will also incorporate ice-breaker activities and interactive discussions.”

    The Summer Transition Programme will cover many subject areas including Art and Design, Performing Arts, Motor Vehicle, Construction, Hospitality and Beauty.

  6. Celebrating Windrush Day

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    On Monday 22 June, many people across the country will come together to celebrate Windrush Day. The annual celebration pays tribute to the exceptional and ongoing contribution of the Windrush generation.

    What is the Windrush generation?

    The term ‘Windrush generation’ was first introduced in 1948 shortly after World War Two. Britain was beginning to recover from the effects of the war, which saw thousands of buildings and homes destroyed. Many young men and women in the Islands had previously served in the British armed forces, due to many Caribbean countries still being under British rule and not yet independent.

    After the war, many people from the Caribbean were invited to come to Britain as there were a variety of jobs available due to post-war labour shortages. The first ship, Empire Windrush, left the Caribbean to travel thousands of miles and arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex on 22 June 1948. This ship was the first of many, with hundreds more arriving in Britain from 1948 to 1971.

    Why has the Windrush generation been in the news recently?

    The ‘Windrush scandal’ involved many of the Windrush generation being wrongly told that they live in Britain illegally. The 1948 British Nationality Act gave citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies states a legal right to settle in the UK. As a result, during 1971, the Windrush generation were told they could stay in Britain permanently without any paperwork and the government didn’t keep a record of these people.

    A change to immigration law came about in 2012, with people being told that official documentation was needed in order to receive free hospital treatment and other benefits. As a result, many people who had attended schools and worked their whole life in the UK were sent to immigration detention centres and faced deportation.

    In 2018, following a review of 11,800 cases, the home secretary announced that 18 people within the Windrush generation who could have been wrongfully removed or detained would receive a formal apology from the government. Additionally, anyone who had left the UK would be helped to return to Britain.

    What does Windrush Day celebrate?

    First introduced in 2018 on the 70th anniversary of Empire Windrush arriving in Britain, the day encourages communities across the country to celebrate the outstanding contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants.

    Overcoming great hardship and sacrifice, the Windrush generation and their descendants have made Britain a better and more inclusive country in many ways. From the vital rebuilding of the country and public services after the war, to the ongoing enriching of our shared social, economic, cultural and religious life.

    What events will take place as part of Windrush Day?

    Backed by government funding, community groups and local authorities across the country will receive a share of a £500,000 Windrush Day Grant Scheme to host events which honour the second national day. There are a range of funded projects which mark this vital part of our shared heritage.

    How can I get involved?

    Although many celebrations will be digital due to social distancing, there are many ways to get involved with Windrush Day events.

    The National Maritime Museum is working with the Caribbean Social Forum and University of Greenwich to create online resources, talks and events including different generations to explore Windrush and what it means to people today.

    The State of Trust is hosting a live panel, featuring artists from State of Trust’s Remembering Windrush project, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Terry Baddoo on 22 June.

    On 22 June, the Windrush Foundation is hosting a Zoom event, featuring presentations, music, Q&A and a review of key events that affected the Caribbean community over many years.

    On Windrush Day in Bradford, a special flag raising ceremony will take place outside City Hall.

    Leeds-based charity, Geraldine Connor Foundation, is marking the day with online event ‘Generations Dreaming’, combining music and literature on the themes of Windrush. The charity has also created a digital learning resource about the Windrush Generation and their legacy.

    How can I access support?

    Our student-focused team is dedicated to ensuring our students always have access to support. We have specialist counselling officers who can offer guidance and direct you to support services.

    To get in touch with the counsellor at Harrogate College, please email

    For help and advice in North Yorkshire, visit The Go-To.

    Useful resources

    The Geraldine Connor Foundation have created a digital learning resource, providing insight into Windrush Generation and their legacy.

    Digital platform, My Learning, has developed a short video with an introduction to Windrush, the history and the people who made the journey.

    Home Ed Voices has provided a range of useful resources for Windrush Day, including videos, books and activities. 

  7. Harrogate College reopens

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    Harrogate College will be reopening for a selection of students and staff from 16 June it has been announced.

    Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, said: “Supporting staff and students to return to a safe environment has been at the centre of the college’s preparations and approach.

    “Many steps have been taken based on the guidance for further education colleges provided by the Department of Education, which have been translated into a practical operation for the college to open safely. We have invited 168 students and apprentices to come back into college over the next 6 weeks to complete their courses while our other students continue to work remotely.”

    Harrogate College is taking the following steps to ensure a safe practical operation:

    • All staff and students will arrive and leave college at off-peak times, with staggered start and finish times between groups.
    • The number of people that can be in the buildings and each classroom has been calculated, so that two metre social distancing can be maintained at all times.
    • Any personal protective equipment (PPE) that is risk assessed as being required, will be provided by the college.
    • A one-way system will be in effect throughout the college.
    • Ongoing cleaning of classrooms and workshops will take place throughout each day.

    Staff have also been working on preparations for students joining in September. All students who have applied to Harrogate College will be contacted and asked to take part in a summer transition programme. This provides students with the opportunity to communicate with new teachers and classmates, while developing valuable digital and study skills needed to return to full-time education in September. 

  8. Childcare students aim high

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    Childcare and Education Technical Diploma Level 3 students at Harrogate College, Alison Taylor and Emily Beecroft, have been recognised for their impressive achievements during their course.

    Alison joined the course as a mature student after raising a family of five. Now that her children are older and independent, she decided to focus on pursuing a career in childcare. At the beginning of the course, Alison struggled with low confidence and lacked IT skills, and worried she may not pass the course. Through real determination and hard work, she mastered her IT skills and developed effective learning techniques needed to achieve a good grade.

    During placements, staff commented on how fantastic she is with children and many have offered her jobs as a result. Alison recently secured a job at her local nursery in Pateley Bridge and plans to start work when the nursery re-opens. She also plans to progress on to a Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies in September.

    Alison said: “When I first started the course, I felt really out of my depth and older than everyone there. However, everyone was incredibly supportive and made me feel really comfortable. At first, I even struggled turning the computer on! But my course mates were very kind in helping me get started and I’ve improved immensely. This course has given me a head start in a career I’ve always dreamed of.”

    Meanwhile, Emily faced some incredibly difficult challenges in her personal life when she joined the course. Despite this, she remained focused on her course and worked very hard, engaging with all the pastoral help offered with a positive attitude. She consistently received excellent reports from her placements and occasionally worked during the holidays. Emily has ambitions of becoming a primary school teacher, and through her hard work and commitment has received offers from all five universities she applied for.

    Emily said: “The support I got from the team at college was amazing; I always felt I had someone to talk to when I was struggling. This course has allowed me to begin my journey into teaching, supporting me every step of the way and making sure I did every piece of work to the best of my ability.”

    Find out more about our childcare courses here.

  9. Local teacher sews scrubs for NHS

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    A teacher at Harrogate College is supporting a local group in the production of scrubs for NHS workers.

    Annabel Smith, programme manager for MA Creative Practice, has sewn three scrubs for frontline care staff across the district as part of community group Harrogate Scrubbers.

    Launched by Fran Taylor, a teacher at St John Fishers High School, the group aims to address the increased demand for scrubs during the global pandemic. Since setting up the Facebook group three weeks ago, the page now has over 680 members including a strong network of sewers and delivery drivers to support key workers in the area.

    Annabel said: “The community spirit sparked through Harrogate Scrubbers is inspiring. I originally heard about the group through a former fashion student and it’s been fantastic to see former colleagues and students getting involved. It’s marvellous to see the group attracting more attention; I’ve informed all my students and colleagues about it and really look forward to seeing it grow.

    “I’ve taught fashion design and marketing at the college for over 14 years; teaching students how to design, cut patterns and construct garments. As an experienced sewer, this seemed like the perfect way to support NHS staff in the area. I’ve spent a week cutting and making the scrubs, which are now in use at Harrogate District Hospital.”

    Harrogate Scrubbers is continuing to produce scrubs including laundry bags, scrub caps and waterproof gowns. To date, the group has produced 384 sets of scrubs and raised £16,274 for the NHS.

    The group is urging the public to continue supporting the campaign to help staff at the hospital. To find out how you can support, visit the official Facebook page.

  10. Carving a career

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    At Harrogate College, our carpentry courses allow students to develop advanced skills in our new facilities. 

    We spoke with joinery tutor, Paul Flanaghan, and student, John Gardner, to find out more about studying Carpentry at the college.

    What are the highlights of the course?

    Paul: The practical skills students develop are invaluable. Whether it’s roofing or flooring, it’s fantastic to see their confidence build when using the hand tools and improving the accuracy of their cutting. 

    John: The qualification is fantastic – it sets you up perfectly for a career in carpentry. The full-time course is only one year, meaning the contact hours are more per week which makes for really high quality learning and mentoring. 

    What can students take away from the course?

    Paul: A clear idea of their desired career path. We offer a Level 1 construction skills course which provides students with a taster of joinery, brickwork and more. This allows students to see which areas they prefer so they can decide what to do after; some are natural with timber and some with brickwork, so it acts as a taster course for them.

    What do students learn about during the course?

    Paul: Students grasp a good understanding of site procedures, building methods, advanced techniques and how to use complex machinery. There is also the opportunity to go on trips which helps to broaden the student experience. 

    John: We’ve recently been developing our structural building type skills, such as roofing, floor joists, internal stud walling, fixing skirting boards and door hangings.

    What advice would you give to a student wanting to study carpentry?

    John: If they are wanting to gain the practical skills and qualifications needed to begin a career in carpentry, this course equips you with all the right tools. If a student is unsure about what they want to specialise in, this course is great as it’s really open. You are constantly learning different aspects and you can focus on what you like doing.

    Does the course offer a welcoming environment for everyone?

    Paul: Everyone is treated equally on the course. It’s an incredibly supportive environment and we all strive to see each other progress. We love seeing how ambitious our students are and are proud to give them a kick start in their future career.

    Take a look at our Carpentry courses here.


Harrogate College

Hornbeam Park Ave, Harrogate HG2 8QT United Kingdom

Tel: 0113 386 1997