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

‘Champions for Change’ is Nil by Mouth’s nationwide schools programme which seeks to promote positive relationships between children from different religious and cultural traditions through a range of educational, sporting and cultural activities. During 2015/16 the programme was delivered, free of charge, to more than 7,000 pupils in 96 schools across 21 local authority areas.

A major part of the programme is bringing pupils from different religious and cultural backgrounds together, allowing us to effectively challenge myths and stereotypes some may have about others. We explore history, language, attitudes, values and encourage pupils to come up with their own ideas to raise awareness of the negative impact of sectarianism on our society and promote greater tolerance and respect.

We have had incredible success with this model over recent years with schools in areas such as Cambuslang, Rutherglen, Mossend  Larkhall, East Kilbride, Blantyre and Wishaw taking part.

All our services are offered free of charge but there can often be costs including transport, tickets to events, use of recording studios and venue hire. With more than 50 schools already wanting to sign up for next term we are launching this appeal and asking people to consider donating £3 a month over the next year or a one off donation of £30 to give schools a budget to cover these additional costs.  Even if 100 people sign up to this pledge we would raise over £3,500 and fund 10 school partnerships for a term.  A little really can go a long way.

BT have kindly provided us with an online donation facility and the money raised will go toward supporting specific projects where schools come together to celebrate difference such as world record attempts, sport competitions, recording their own songs and attending cultural events together.

Through ‘Champions for Change’ we have seen new friendships formed, old prejudices banished and strong relationships between schools built.  We believe that people across Scotland are ready to call time on sectarianism and by backing the ‘Champions for Change’ appeal you are helping support the generation which will banish it once and for all.

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