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Fight against bigotry in Scotland continues

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Projects across Scotland are set to share more than £500,000 to fight sectarianism

Charities across Scotland are set to continue the fight against bigotry.

Eleven organisations will share £530,000 of Scottish Government funding to tackle sectarianism in 2019-20.

Groups such as Sense Over Sectarianism, Sacro and Nil by Mouth are amongst those who have secured grants.

Mark Adams, development officer at Sense Over Sectarianism, said the £85,000 secured by his group will be used to recognise and combat bigotry, as well as providing training for teachers across the country.

“Sense over Sectarianism is delighted to be re-funded and to be able to continue to deliver this important work,” he said. “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.

“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.”

Another project to benefit from the new round of funding is Nil By Mouth, which provides free anti-sectarian education in workplaces across all sectors.

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.”

The funding was announced by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf. 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.

“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 work places.”

Professor Duncan Morrow, former chair of the independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland, said recent incidents of disorder had shown sectarianism remains in Scotland.

He said: “The past few months have shown that sectarianism remains a problem in Scotland. There is no doubting that progress has been made, especially in communities, but it will continue to rear its head if it is not faced and addressed firmly.

“I am pleased that the Scottish Government remains committed to tackling sectarianism, and hope that others outside of government will now show the leadership that has been lacking for so long.”



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