February 3rd 2017

P7 pupils from Our Lady of The Missions Primary give a thumbs up to Nil By Mouth

The campaign to build bridges between religions in Scotland has been boosted by the efforts of big hearted East Renfrewshire kids.

Pupils from Our Lady of the Missions Primary School in Thornliebank have raised £500 to support the work of Nil by Mouth. They raised the money during their Christmas Enterprise Day in December, which saw primary 7 pupils run their own stalls, activities and games for younger pupils.

The money will be used to support the charity’s ‘Champions for Change’ programme which encourages schools to work together on initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the harmful impact of sectarianism in society and to devise events and campaigns to celebrate diversity. Over the last twelve months more than 6,500 pupils from across Scotland took part in workshops, assemblies, inter-school events and projects through the programme.

During 2016 the charity worked with Primary six and seven pupils at Our Lady of the Missions on a range of workshops and activities exploring issues around stereotyping, identity, discrimination and how people can work together to better understand difference. Pupils also learned about the charity’s ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ campaign which seeks to widen debate about sectarianism beyond simply football.

Nil By Mouth Education Officer, Jamie Lithgow, and P7 pupils promote the charity’s ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ campaign

Nil by Mouth Education Officer Jamie Lithgow, who led the charity’s programme with the school, said:
‘We have been very busy across East Renfrewshire in recent years, working with hundreds of pupils. Our Lady of the Missions has always been a strong supporter of our work and we are always made very welcome when we visit. The pupils clearly value the diversity in their community and we are delighted that they have made such a generous donation to our cause. We have always been committed to keeping our education programme free of charge to schools across the country and donations like this are a big help in ensuring this remains the case. The kindness and commitment shown by these pupils reminds us that Scotland is bigger, brighter and bolder than bigotry.’

Caroline Collins, class teacher at Our Lady of The Missions said:
‘Primary Seven were able to evaluate the effectiveness of their own contribution to group tasks and activities and they feel a tremendous sense of pride, recognising that by raising money for several charities they have played a part in bringing about positive change in the wider community. Our young learners have a knowledge and practical understanding of the world of work and the skills and positive attitudes required to make a difference. They worked with and led others, showed resilience, adaptability and a determination to succeed. We are extremely proud of our pupils and overwhelmed by their achievement.’