April 18 2017

Students Robyn Lochrie-Brown and Katie Clarke plant seeds in the South Lanarkshire College Garden

A group of East Kilbride students are celebrating after winning a college competition aimed at helping people stand up to bigotry.

South Lanarkshire College (SLC) students Robin Lochrie-Brown, Katie Clarke and Demilea Fairbairn, scooped first prize at national equality charity Nil by Mouth annual ‘Pitch Perfect’ competition which sees students compete against one another to design a campaign to raise awareness of sectarianism in Scotland.

The girls winning idea was entitled ‘Bury The Bigotry’, and will see school children work together to sell seeds to raise money to support the charity’s pioneering education programme across Scotland. Pupils from denominational and non-denominational schools will also work together on a range of gardening and outdoor programmes as part of Nil by Mouth’s community projects over the next 12 months.

Since 2015 more than 15,000 young people from more than 100 schools have taken part in the charity’s education programme. This includes both Duncanrig Secondary and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary in East Kilbride both of whom were presented with ‘Champions for Change’ awards by the charity recognising their fantastic work tackling bigotry in 2013.

‘Pitch Perfect’ is an exciting marketing competition which gives further and higher education students the opportunity to create and design their very own anti-sectarian awareness campaign. The students involved can opt to use cutting edge technologies or more traditional methods of advertising but ultimately they must produce a campaign which stimulates and generates interest in Nil by Mouth’s campaign to challenge sectarianism in our society.  In addition students get the chance to spend a real budget, plan a campaign and gain invaluable experience pitching to an independent panel of experts.

Robyn and Katie acept their prize along with thier lecturers; Karen Christie and Julie Brady

Nil by Mouth Engagement Officer Emma Alexander said:

We have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with South Lanarkshire College and were delighted with the standard of entry to the ‘Pitch Perfect’ competition. All the teams clearly put a great deal of time and effort into their pitch and the judges had a difficult job choosing a winner. The girls idea was very clever and the judges, consisting of leading figures in charities and public relations in Scotland, felt their idea was simple, effective and imaginative. We have already ordered hundreds of packets of seeds for use in the programme and this will feature the students artwork and we have several schools signed up to take part.  This competition highlights just how much talent there is in Scotland’s college sector and we are delighted that staff and students at SLC have shown such commitment to making Scotland a more open, tolerant place.’

Speaking on behalf of the Students Robyn Lochrie-Brown said;

‘We are delighted to have won this competition and can’t wait to see our idea be turned into reality. Equalities is an important issue for our generation and we wanted to use our campaign to carry the message that it’s time to bury bigotry and allow new friendships to grow. We really hope it will be a success and help Nil by Mouth to raise both money and awareness for their cause.’