December 17 2018

Our schools programme brings pupils from different schools together to challenge sectarianism

It has been a busy few months for Nil By Mouth’s ‘Champions for Change’ schools programme. Since the start of the new school term in August we have worked with over 3,000 school pupils across 13 local authorities.

We kicked off August by working with a burgeoning school partnership in Lanark, South Lanarkshire. P6 and P7 pupils from St. Mary’s and Lanark Primaries  joined together on a series of joint workshops and will continue working together going forward into 2019.

September saw another successful Nil By Mouth ‘Action Week.’ These see the charity delivering workshops and hosting events within one specific area over  a week. On this occasion we visited Noble, St. Patrick’s, St. Helen’s, Condorrat, St. Joseph’s and Baird Memorial primary schools in North Lanarkshire. We also visited schools in North Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Edinburgh and West Dunbartonshire to make September our busiest month of 2018.

Pupils from three North Lanarkshire schools working together

If September saw us work largely with primary schools then October saw a role reversal with the charity visiting high schools in Stirling, Falkirk, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire. Of course, we still found  time to visit our friends at Mossend and Holy Family primary schools in Bellshill before making our first visit to Bowhouse and Sacred Heart primary schools in Grangemouth. This new partnership has set their sights on following the example of the Bellshill schools by continuing their partnership into the new year and becoming  the ‘Champions for Change’ Award winners in Central Scotland.

November saw our second ‘Action Week’ of the term. On this occasion we concentrated our efforts across the three Ayrshire council areas. Our Action Weeks also comprise our workplace and college programmes however we still found space to involve Ardrossan Academy, Mayfield Primary and Corsehill Primary schools. We ended the month by working with The University of Strathclyde’s fourth year BA Primary Education students. These students will begin their teaching careers in August. We wish them the best of luck and hope to see some of them again in their classes as they carry the message forward that Scotland is bigger, better and bolder than bigotry.

No momentum was lost in December with the programme visiting Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire. We even managed to squeeze in a trip to Perth and Kinross to visit S3/4 pupils at Crieff High School.

Looking ahead, the Champions for Change programme is more popular than ever with our diaries now completely full up to the beginning of March. We are also looking forward to working with more partnership schools than ever before. We wish all our school partners peace and prosperity in 2019.