Funding announced to tackle bigotry
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham today announced funding will be given to six communities in Scotland to help them develop initiatives to tackle sectarianism and hatred.
Inverclyde, Slamannan, Twechar, Shotts, Blantyre and East Ayrshire have been praised for the work they are doing locally and will now share funding of £230,000 to build on their early work and devise a series of community-led responses to combat sectarianism.
The funding is part of a programme of activity to test approaches to tackling sectarianism, and help to identify effective interventions which will improve the lives of communities across Scotland.
Announcing the project today at a community event in Stirling, Ms Cunningham said:
“Discrimination of any kind has no place in modern Scotland and we need to do everything we can to stop it wherever and whenever it occurs, whilst tackling the root causes.
“Scotland’s communities are at the forefront of the fight against sectarianism. They are the ones who are having to deal with it day in day out, and they are the ones who can help drive change.
“As a Government, we’ve always made it clear that we don’t have a monopoly on wisdom and I firmly believe that a community-led approach to tackling sectarianism is central to tackling this problem.
“These six communities are already driving forward work to eradicate bigotry once and for all and are doing some fantastic work. We want to support them. This funding will help them further develop the work they have already begun and devise new approaches to tackling sectarianism. If successful, the approaches used could be replicated more widely right across Scotland.
“True change will only come about when we all take a stand against sectarianism and do our part in the fight against bigotry and hatred.
“The range and diversity of these projects shows that it doesn’t matter where or how people experience sectarianism, positive action can be taken to make communities safer and stronger and these six communities have our full backing in their efforts to eradicate the scourge of sectarianism from Scotland.”
Keith Wimbles, Voluntary Action Fund and Dave Allan, SCDC commented: “VAF and SCDC welcome the announcement of funding for community-led approaches to tackling sectarianism. We firmly believe that working with people and local groups is essential if we are going to achieve strong, cohesive communities that are able to recognise and tackle divisions and conflicts.”
David Allan, Head of Programmes, Scottish Community Development Centre, said:
"SCDC welcomes the announcement of funding for community-led approaches to tackling sectarianism. We firmly believe that working with people and local groups is essential if we are going to achieve strong, cohesive communities that are able to recognise and tackle divisions and conflicts.
“Through the funding, local projects will have the opportunity to develop their own solutions to locally-identified issues around sectarianism. The focus of these projects will be on developing positive and creative activities, such as drama, music and story-telling that will help bring people together across generations and across community divides. This will ultimately help to create greater understanding and will build stronger and more cohesive communities."
Sandra Sutton, Chair, Twechar Community Action commented “We are delighted with this additional funding – it helps our community start to tackle some of the root causes of sectarianism and address the issue cyber bullying”.
Diane McAlllister, Manager at Inverclyde Community Development Trust welcomed the additional funding. “It enables us to undertake intergenerational work round the issue of sectarianism and doing so building a stronger and more cohesive community."