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On 3rd April, working in partnership with Rape Crisis South London, our second year Level 3 Health & Social Care students successfully completed their Sexual Harassment, Bystander Intervention and Social Action training course.

mertoncollege healthandsocialcare project

As part of the seven-week training, students were tasked with producing a new College Group-wide policy to tackle sexual harassment. The group pulled the draft policy together following brainstorming sessions. The policy was then presented by students Tania Dias and Alisha Pereira to Group Principal and CEO, Peter Mayhew-Smith, Head of Student Services for Merton College, Andrew Beardall and the course facilitators from Rape Crisis South London.

The policy will now be implemented across the South Thames Colleges Group by the end of the academic year.

Student Tania Dias who felt that the training had made a lasting impression on her said: “It has been a positive experience as I learnt new ways of preventing harassment happening, whether it is in society, at College or the local community.”

Peter Mayhew-Smith, Group Principal and CEO of the South Thames Colleges Group who attended the event said: “We’re extremely proud of our Health and Social Care students who worked with Rape Crisis South London to fight sexual harassment in South London. Well done to the wonderful staff at Merton College who made this project happen.”

Head of Student Services, Andrew Beardall was highly impressed with the students and will now work with other members of the Safeguarding Team to implement measures put forward in the policy. Andrew stated: “It was good to hear a group of young people share their views on tackling sexual harassment. Furthermore, this training demonstrates how committed we are to enhancing the skill set of our learners at Merton College”.

Dione Cooper, Health & Social Care course tutor, said: “The training with Rape Crisis South London has enabled the group to be more aware and be more open when they see a family member or even a friend in a difficult unwanted situation with a stranger. Overall, the training has given them the confidence to tackle sexual harassment now, in their future careers and lead on policy development too”.