Cash to tackle sectarianism

30 March 2019, 07:30 | Updated: 30 March 2019, 07:32


Projects aimed at tackling the "toxic bigotry" of sectarianism are in line for a funding boost of more than £500,000, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has announced.

rganisations including Nil by Mouth and Sense Over Sectarianism - which works to help schoolchildren in Glasgow to challenge bigotry - are among those who will receive cash.

Mr Yousaf said the £530,000 of funding for 2019-20 was part of the Government's "unprecedented" investment in tackling the problem.

He said: "Education is absolutely pivotal in our fight against this toxic bigotry.

"By working directly with young people in schools and colleges, Sense Over Sectarianism is helping ensure that future generations can drive forward the change needed that eradicates sectarianism once and for all."

Sense Over Sensibility said it would use its £85,000 share of the funding to provide training for teachers while Nil BY Mouth will receive £95,000 towards its efforts to provide workplace education in a bid to establish an "anti-sectarian culture".

Mr Yousaf said: "There is no question that sectarianism is a societal problem which continues to blight communities across Scotland.

"We all need to do whatever is within our power to tackle this problem and that means taking responsibility for tackling sectarianism in the areas we have influence over, whether that be football, marches and parades or in our workplaces.

"This latest round of funding is a real-terms annual increase and takes the Scottish Government's unprecedented investment to £14 million in anti-sectarian projects since 2012."

Mark Adams, development officer at Sense Over Sectarianism, said the organisation was "delighted" to receive the Government cash.

"In the past 12 months SOS has worked with unprecedented numbers and this funding gives the programme a solid platform to build on and consolidate this success," he said.

"In addition, we will be able to once again host the National Month of Action for Scottish schools which proved very popular in February of this year."

Nil By Mouth campaign director Dave Scott said: "We have seen huge interest in our tackling sectarianism in the workplace programme in recent years with more than 125 employers participating, including more than a third of Scottish local authorities.

"Scotland is bigger, better and bolder than bigotry and this welcome investment in grassroots projects like ours will take that message to schools, colleges, universities, workplaces and communities right across the country and help people find their voices on this issue."

Other organisations to receive a share of the funds include the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, Youth Scotland, Bridging the Gap, Sacro, the Fair Play Foundation, the North Kelvin Sports Development Group and YouthLink Scotland.