£500,000 for anti-sectarianism projects

Preventing sectarianism in Scotland.

Projects that challenge sectarian behaviour will share £500,000 funding, the Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing has announced.

To mark the announcement of further funding to tackle sectarianism, Ms Ewing met with Action on Sectarianism (AoS) competition winner, 14 year old Jamie Boothman, whose prize winning poem illustrates the ambition of a Scotland without sectarianism.

The 11 successful projects have a strong educational focus, work directly with young people and adults and will deliver projects directly tied to the recommendations of Dr Duncan Morrow’s review of the Independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland. Ms Ewing said: 

“Over six years the Scottish Government has invested just under £13 million into tackling sectarianism. Dr Duncan Morrow, in his recent review of tackling sectarianism in Scotland, pointed to the significant impact that projects with a strong educational focus can have on changing behaviour.

“The review was also clear that sectarianism needs to be tackled with the same conviction and confidence as racism or homophobia if we are to eradicate it. The projects we are funding will drive that forward in communities across the country.

“I am delighted to be able to present Jamie Boothman with the Youthlink Scotland Action on Sectarianism award for his work to unite people where others see division. Changing people’s attitudes is at the heart of turning the tide against hatred in all its forms and people like Jamie and other young people working with the projects are key to ensuring there is no place for sectarianism in a vibrant, modern Scotland.”

Sarah Robinson Galloway, Digital Development and Participation Officer with the AoS website welcomed the new funding and said:

“A vision of Scotland without hate or prejudice, this is what we are all striving for. Jamie’s poem sums up our hope for the future and the crucial part young people will play in ending the damaging generational legacy of sectarianism. We are delighted to see the government’s continued focus on anti-sectarian work with young people, they are at the heart of our communities and will be the agents of change for our nation.”

Jamie Boothman added:

“I entered the competition because I feel that sectarianism does not get enough attention and should be opposed so that Scotland can have a brighter future rather than promoting prejudice between groups. It felt great winning as it feels as if my work has made a difference no matter how small.”


Organisations receiving funding include:

Nil by Mouth – £80,000 to combine their workplace and schools work to embed anti-sectarian practice within local authorities and other employers, expanding the range of authorities and organisations they are working with to ensure that anti-sectarian policies and practices are mainstreamed.

Sacro – £65,000 to extend and develop the provision of a national service providing diversion from prosecution across Scotland.  Sacro will also  deliver anti-sectarian education work in Scotland’s prisons.

Sense Over Sectarianism (SOS) – £60,000 to facilitate the delivery of teachers and practitioners working in the field of education to enable the widespread delivery of the new national resource (launched by you on 22 February) on tackling sectarianism that has been developed by Education Scotland and partners.

Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) – £60,000 to facilitate work with youth football players and coaches in schools, colleges and communities.

Youthlink Scotland – £60,000 to continue with the development of the Action on Sectarianism website, the national resource that ensures information and educational materials are available across Scotland free of charge while encouraging discussion and debate on this issue.

Youth Scotland – £50,000 to create a lasting legacy with young people and the local organisations they participate in outwith any formal education environment. Specifically this project will ensure that anti-sectarian education is embedded in a wide range of organisations to ensure that the messages that young people are getting outwith the formal education environment match those they are receiving within it.

North Kelvin – £22,592 to provide anti-sectarian education through an after-school club model that brings local schools together. This will ensure that anti-sectarian messages that are given in school are reinforced outwith the formal school environment thereby helping to embed these messages in the minds of young people from a range of backgrounds.

Glasgow Women’s Library and West of Scotland Regional Equality Council - £55,000 to work together to develop a toolkit for public and third sector agencies to promote greater understanding of sectarianism, to mainstream sectarianism into wider equalities policy and delivery within organisations.

Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise – £25,000 to develop social action research to “ascertain the impact of sectarianism within the local social economy” in North Ayrshire. The project will be looking at the social impact of sectarianism in relation to the local social economy.

Bridging the Gap – £22,408 to work within the Southside of Glasgow to ensure peer mentoring between high school pupils and primary school pupils aiming to focus on difference and increase knowledge and understanding of sectarianism and others from different backgrounds, communities and cultures.

The winning Action on Sectarianism poem by Jamie Boothman, Aged 14:


A world with prejudice,

A life with violence,

Unfurled from bed, already anxious,

This is earth with sectarianism,

Scotland’s worst kind of activism.


Why should we hate and think we are better?  

It's time to change and be trend-setters,

For Scotland to have love in our community,

We must treat all religions with equality.


What shall we do? What shall we do?

Scotland should really start a new,

Sectarianism is uncouth, persuade the youth,

The next generation should know the truth,

Scotland of the future will fly the flag,

That prejudice against religion is extremely bad.


Now the nation can look to the future,

When people care and listen to others,

Instead of Scotland being split,

We can now be a country with no misfits.

This is where the poem ends,

With a better Scotland around the bend.


Media enquiries

Back to top