January 13th 2017
The start of a new year brings new opportunities for schools across Scotland to challenge sectarianism. Over the coming months, Nil By Mouth’s ‘Champions for Change’ project will be working with primary and secondary schools all over the country as they endeavour to battle bigotry.
From January to March, Condorrat, St. Helen’s and Baird Memory Primary Schools will team up together as they host pupil lead workshops and showcases in Cumbernauld. In Uddingston, Muiredge and St. John The Baptist Primaries will also work together through a series of Nil By Mouth workshops. Cairns and St. Cadoc’s Primary Schools in Cambuslang will embark upon a similar journey, with the goal of a joint trip to Hampden Stadium on the horizon. Long standing school partners Holy Family and Mossend primaries will also be running their brilliant ‘Daily Mile’ programme over 2017.
These school partnerships will be celebrated through Nil By Mouth’s ‘Champions for Change’ Award, which has been created to recognise and celebrate the efforts of schools who work together to challenge sectarianism. We also hope to inspire schools who have not previously worked together to join forces to defeat bigotry.
The Champions for Change project will also visit secondary schools from Angus, North and South Lanarkshire, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, the Borders and Glasgow by the end of March. In between school partnerships and high school visits, the project will also visit more than a dozen individual primary schools over the next two months. Pupils will undertake workshops on stereotyping and the use of sectarian language in society and on social media.
Through these workshops Nil By Mouth hope to inspire more schools to become flag bearers for the charity by becoming an officially accredited school. The ‘Champions for Change’ Accreditation Scheme provides an exciting opportunity for schools to celebrate their anti-sectarianism work and have best practice recognised. ‘Champions for Change’ provides a framework for developing work in schools and support for staff, pupils and parents in their efforts to create a more tolerant Scotland.
These partnerships, class workshops, school awards and accreditation schemes are made possible through the kind donations to our Champions for Change Appeal. The Appeal was buoyed over the festive period with funding of £1,000 from WM Mann but the charity will look to raise more funds in 2017 to enable the entire Champions for Change project to be delivered free of charge for as long as possible.