October 20th 2016

The efforts of two Ayrshire clergymen to build bridges between different religious and cultural traditional across Scotland have been honoured by Nil by Mouth

Rev Neil Urqhart and Fr Willie Boyd from Irvine have, over last five years, teamed up to form the ‘Shoes Brothers’, making a series of funny and heart-warming films focusing on what people can achieve by working together. Now the efforts of the pair to bring people together to celebrate difference has been officially recognised by the charity who have presented them with a special ‘Champions for Change’ award in recognition of their efforts.


Over the last five years the duo have:

–       Made several ‘Shoes Brothers’ films engaging people and communities right across Scotland  and which have been watched by tens of thousands of people on Youtube.

–       Recorded a Christmas single.

–       Delivered workshops to hundreds of pupils across Ayrshire.

–       Brought together fans and players from rival football clubs to perform the dance.

–       Created a film with prisoners in Greenock Jail.

–       Assembled a ‘flashmob’ of MSPs to perform outside the Scottish Parliament.

This week Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott joined the ‘Brothers’ on the set of their new film to present them with their award and get a behind the scenes look at their latest masterpiece.

Rev Neil Urqhart said:
‘Willie and I have been friends for nearly 20 years and the ‘Shoes Brothers’ has always been all about respecting differences, building bridges and celebrating community and the much we have in common not least the ability to laugh at ourselves. Faith shouldn’t be something which divides people. During our work we found a wealth of goodwill and willingness to join in with our campaigns.  Deep down people want to get on with each other and an appetite to delight in diversity and celebrate what we have in common with each other.‘

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:
‘The Shoes Brothers are two of the best people you could ever wish to meet and we have been blown away by the quality of their work and commitment to celebrating community. That’s why we decided to present our special ‘Champions for Change’ award to two remarkable and inspirational guys who make our country a better place. The ‘Shoes Brothers’ films are certainly the best we have ever seen about tackling sectarianism and embracing difference.  Over the past five years Neil and Willie have touched so many people with their amazing work and the warmth, humour and imagination which goes into their campaigns is something to behold. They prove that people can build bridges higher than walls.   We cant wait to see this year’s film next month!’