15 December 2016

Cambuslang schools worked together to become 'Champions for Change' and were acknowledged in the Scottish Parliament
Cambuslang schools worked together to become ‘Champions for Change’ and were acknowledged in the Scottish Parliament

Nil By Mouth this week capped off a busy 2016 by visiting Argyll & Bute to discuss our campaign with pupils from Oban High School.

This last school visit of 2016 brings to an end another extremely busy year for the charity’s education programme. Over the course of 2016 Nil by Mouth has delivered workshops to almost 6,500 pupils across Scotland. This latest trip to Argyll & Bute took the number of local authorities the charity’s ‘Champions for Change‘  schools project has visited to 18 over the past 12 months. Within that time Nil By Mouth has visited 86 schools, with many actively teaming up in an effort to break down barriers and build friendships within their communities.

In addition,  the charity also welcomed Cairns and St Cadoc’s Primary schools in Cambuslang as the newest ‘Champions for Change’ Accredited schools. This title recognises best practice in addressing and challenging bigotry across the curriculum. There are several benchmarks that accredited schools must achieve before being awarded ‘Champions for Change’ status. As a result, both schools can now be viewed as leaders and flag bearers for challenging sectarianism within South Lanarkshire and Scotland as a whole.

The Champions for Change model was also expanded in August to include the Champions for Change Award. The new award was 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 battle bigotry. Several partner schools are already taking part in this scheme in a bid to become the first recipients of the award

We also secured financial support from a number of charitable trusts and members of the public through our ‘Champions for Change’ Appeal launched at Hampden Park in May. To date over £20,000 has been raised to allow us to continue to deliver our pioneering work in Scotland’s schools.

Looking ahead to 2017 the future looks bright with January already set to be the busiest in Champions for Change history. On the horizon are more joint workshops than ever before and the prospect of announcing the first schools to win the Champions for Change Award.

If you’re school would like to take part in our programme – which is offered free of charge – please contact Jamie Lithgow: