Nil By Mouth engages with students and staff on anti-sectarianism

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Scottish charity Nil By Mouth (NBM) has delivered a seminar for students and staff of New College Lanarkshire on issues surrounding sectarianism.

Dave Scott, the charity’s Campaign Director, gave a talk recently at our Coatbridge Campus to raise awareness of the work that NBM does.

The award-winning charity was set up following the murder of 16-year-old Glasgow schoolboy Mark Scott in 1995. It now works to spread an anti-sectarian message as well as seeking to shape government legislation.

The talk, which was attended by more than 50 people, covered stereotypes, sectarianism and how society can embrace, rather than fear, difference.

Mr Scott said: “Colleges are brilliant places and bring together a wider cross-section of society than probably any other arm of our education system.

“That's why it's important that those of us who wish to encourage greater tolerance and respect take each and every opportunity to visit them to speak to students.

“Last year we worked in half of Scotland's colleges and presented to more than a thousand students. 

“We hope this is the first of many visits to the college in 2017 and we have already been contacted by some of those who attended about returning to work with individual courses and student groups.”

He was invited to speak as part of our Be Engaged extra-curricular programme.

Be Engaged aims to provide a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to make the most out of their learning experience and encourage personal and professional development.

Learner Engagement Officer Ross Brand said: “The seminar was both a great CPD [Continuing Professional Development] opportunity for staff as well as providing an insight into these issues for students, particularly those studying Social Science and Citizenship courses.

“Dave Scott delivered a very engaging presentation in a manner that was thought-provoking and honest in highlighting some of the negative social issues that remain in our society.

“We have received a lot of positive feedback from attendees and we look forward to developing our relationship with NBM.”

Student President Zorena Shanks added: “The seminar was inspiring and engaging; I think students found the session very informative, revealing and thought-provoking.

“Labels are still put on people because of their religion or faith, which in this day in age should not happen.

“Visits like this are important because it allows us to think about our actions and how we communicate with others.”

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