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Year 1

The Looking Forward Not Back project in 2014/2015 involved six groups of young people and youth workers from different areas of Scotland that had identified sectarianism as an issue for them and their communities. Each of the projects developed a youth work programme that involved learning about sectarianism and taking action in their communities to help highlight or address the issue.

The projects also worked with YouthLink Scotland to evaluate the impact of their work as they went along. Each project received a small grant to support their work and had access to a programme of support from YouthLink Scotland. Together, the young people involved in the projects engaged approximately 1360 community members in dialogue about sectarianism. The majority of people they spoke to felt it was very positive to hear about sectarianism from the perspective of young people and that they had learned something they would discuss with others.

The projects included:


Dumfries and Galloway Council

Youth Action Cumbernauld and Kilsyth (YACK)

Young Persons Services, East Renfrewshire Council

Bellshill and Mossend YMCA, North Lanarkshire

Stirling Council Youth Services

South Lanarkshire Council, Youth Learning Services


To share the learning from the Looking Forward Not Back projects a toolkit has been created. This toolkit serves as a "how to" guide for other organisations and practitioners who would like to work with young people to support youth action on sectarianism. Download the toolkit below:




A final report, Exploring the Contribution of a Youth Work Approach to Tackling Sectarianism, is also available. The report, which is endorsed by the University of Dundee, outlines the evidence created by Looking Forward Not Back in the contribution of youth work in tackling intra-Christian sectarianism. The report can be downloaded and read below:


National Conference


Looking Forward Not Back culminated in a national conference. The six local projects showcased their work on sectarianism and discussed the impact that this had in their communities with other youth work practitioners and policy makers, including the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

 Here is the video of the highlights from the conference:


What next in 2015/16?

For Looking Forward Not Back year two, we are currently working with five projects based in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Falkirk to further extend our evidence of the contribution youth work can make in tackling sectarianism.

Read more about Looking Forward Not Back and the local projects on the following pages. Here you will find information on the local projects; watch films of each of the projects and see some of the resources they have created.

If you would like more information on Looking Forward Not Back please contact Amy Goulding at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0131 313 2488.

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