May 24 2019
It has been a busy couple of weeks for us at Nil by Mouth as we have undertaken a tour of colleges and universities across the country.
We have always placed great value on our work in further and higher education, be that through our student teacher placement programme, lectures to PGDE classes, work with media students or our ground breaking ‘Pitch Perfect’ college competitions. So during the last fortnight we have been touring across Scotland delivering talks, programmes and resources to students.
We kicked off with our first ever visit to the University of Aberdeen to deliver a lecture to postgraduate teaching students focusing on how they can raise awareness of sectarianism in the classroom as a curriculum topic and tackle it as a societal problem. We had a fantastic turn out with students indicating they would be keen to work with us once they take up their probationary years in August.
We have been working alongside the University of Strathclyde for more than a decade, providing placements for its education and social work students and delivering lectures and talks to more than a thousand of its Post-Grad Education students. This week we once again visited the University to run an awareness stall at its end of year education conference. This gave us the opportunity to talk to dozens of students, letting them know about our services and provide advice to those who had questions about how they would tackle sectarianism within a school environment or surrounding community. Today we will also attend the university’s PGDE graduation ceremony to present the Hugh Gallagher Award in memory of the former course leader, and good friend of our charity, who passed away last year.
We visited three of New College Lanarkshire’s campuses to talk to students from a range of subject areas about the dangers of stereotyping people and the possible consequences of posting sectarian abuse online reminding them to ‘Pause Before They Post’. The visits to Motherwell, Cumbernauld and Coatbridge are the latest in our ongoing partnership with the college which will see Nil by Mouth work with hundreds of staff and students across all six campuses in 2019.
We also held the first set of finals of this year’s ‘Pitch Perfect’ competition with City of Glasgow College with more than a hundred students vying to create a campaign to challenge sectarian attitudes in Scotland. The competition is always a highlight of our year and has given us fantastic campaigns such as ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’, ‘Don’t be a Clown’ ‘Sing Something New’ and ‘Sectarianism is a Turn Off’. Five groups will now move forward to our grand final on June 6th were an independent panel of experts will choose a winner.
And finally, we are pleased to be working on a six date partnership with Napier University in Sighthill, Edinburgh, working with local primary schools to help pupils better understand religious and cultural differences and focusing on how university can be part of their future should they choose it.
In the months ahead we will continue to work with colleges and universities to hammer home the message that Scotland is bigger, better and bolder than bigotry. Thanks to the hundreds of folk we have engaged with over the last fortnight!
If you have a course or programme at a further or higher education institution and would like to work with us get in touch. All services offered free of charge: firstname.lastname@example.org