Support cards launched at Perth College UHI

On Wednesday 10 October, John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Minister for Education and Skills, visited Perth College UHI to launch the new gender based violence support cards at the College.

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Perth College UHI staff with Debbie Das Chaudhury, HISA Perth Women’s Officer (centre left); Prince Honeysett, HISA President (centre); and John Swinney, Deputy First Minister (centre right)

The cards have been distributed to every college and university across Scotland, and are designed to enable any member of staff to provide the correct support and quickly refer someone experiencing gender based violence to dedicated services. In turn, the promotion of this initiative will ensure that all students know they can approach any staff member and receive immediate and effective assistance.

In attendance were over 50 staff and students from Perth College UHI. Representatives from HISA (Highlands and Islands Students’ Association) Perth also gave a short presentation.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Minister for Education and Skills, said: “It is essential that we work with our colleges and universities so that they are safe places for students and I was pleased to launch this important resource for staff at Perth College UHI today. I am grateful to Fiona Drouet, founder of the Emily Test campaign, for her vision and commitment and to the sector for making this initiative a reality. The Support Cards will empower university and college staff to give advice on where students can access help and contribute to a culture that is clear in its condemnation of gender based violence.”

Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal, said: “We were delighted to welcome John Swinney to the College today to talk about this very important initiative, everyone can identify with this issue on some level. Our staff and students were pleased to get the opportunity to hear the DFM and to discuss the issue with him.”

Debbie Das Chaudhury, HISA (Highlands and Islands Students’ Association) Perth Women’s Officer, added: “We firmly believe that college should be a safe space for all students. They should be able to study without fear of gender based violence and sexual harassment. These information cards are an important and necessary step to tackling gender based violence.”