Nil By Mouth has been working with high school pupils across Scotland to support them with running their own projects to raise awareness of sectarianism and help them lead the generation which banishes it from Scotland once and for all. Below we explain how you’re school or group of friends can become involved and also obtain awards for your efforts…
During the 2014/15 school year Pupils from Biggar High in South Lanarkshire, Gleniffer High, St Andrews’s Academy and Paisley Grammar in Renfrewshire worked with Nil by Mouth on peer education programmes which have seen them plan and deliver anti-sectarian workshops in a number of local primary schools.
NBM staff were so impressed with their efforts that they arranged for the pupils to participate in the nationwide Saltire Awards programme which formally recognises the commitment and contribution of youth volunteering. The awards enable participants to record their skills, experience and learning gained through successful volunteering placements provided by local and national voluntary agencies.
This is the latest set of awards to be won as part of Nil by Mouth’s ground breaking ‘Champions for Change’ schools programme which seeks to encourage pupils, staff and parents to use schools as a vehicle for tackling bigotry. Over the past 12 months the charity has worked across more than 20 local authorities’ right across Scotland. We also worked alongside partners such as the University of Strathclyde and Mark Scott Leadership for Life Programme on joint volunteering programmes.
Before the end of term award ceremonies were held at Biggar High and St Andrew’s Academy to present the young people with their Saltire Certificates. Combined their efforts generated more than 750 hours of volunteering time dedicated to challenging sectarianism and to changing attitudes.
“We are delighted to have been able to work with the pupils to help them achieve their Saltire Awards. They have shown a real commitment to tackling sectarianism and we have been very impressed with the peer education programme they created to work in local primary schools. They have encouraged others to see difference as a good thing rather than something to be feared. These sessions were very well received and the pupils have shown that by working together people can create positive change.”
Over the course of the next academic year Nil By Mouth are offering other young people the opportunity to participate in the Saltire scheme. We can provide support, ideas and small grants to help you get your programme up and running.
School pupils or youth group participants who would like to achieve a Saltire Award through volunteering with Nil By Mouth are encouraged to get in touch with the charity to take up this exciting offer.