What is Action on Sectarianism?

YouthLink Scotland, the National Agency for Youth Work has set up the first independent public website designed to challenge sectarianism in Scotland, supported by the Scottish Government.

What is in the website?

Accessible on computers, tablets and mobile phones, this website will act as a central gateway to information and resources tackle sectarianism in Scotland by providing tailored user access to four distinct target groups: Accessible on computers, tablets and mobile phones, this website will act as a central gateway to information and resources tackle sectarianism in Scotland by providing tailored user access to three distinct target groups:

Accessible on computers, tablets and mobile phones, this website will act as a central gateway to information and resources to tackle sectarianism in Scotland by providing tailored user access to four distinct target groups:

1. Children
2. Young people
3. Adults: parents, carers, community groups.
4. AoS Network: teachers, youth workers, academics, policy officers, community activists.

What will it achieve?

The aim of the website is to provide 'information that inspires action' in local communities across Scotland by sharing stories of those affected sectarianism and showcasing the work and resources that are able to address it.

Who's it for?

The website is for everyone, including:
Children, young people and adults in local communities. Community Groups, Local Authorities, Youth Work projects, Schools, Businesses, Government Agencies and Academics.

What's it like?

Action on Sectarianism looks and feels the same on multiple platforms; computers; tablets and mobile phones. It acts as a one stop shop to the best resources, marketing and educational initiatives from across Scotland and includes; Three unique public channels for children,

young people and adults with music, videos, stories, practical guides, parental advice and an interactive zone, designed to get folk thinking differently about the issue and sharing their perspectives. The AoS Network, a dedicated secure channel where practitioners and activists

can share their work and research and look at innovative ways of communicating this to the public.

Who else is involved?

The Scottish Government has initiated and funded a number of innovative projects and educational resources to support sectarianism over the last few years, including ‘Beyond a Culture of Two Halves.’ In 2012 an independent advisory group was set up, chaired by

Dr Duncan Morrow, to inform policy on sectarianism. There are a number of communities and organizations across Scotland currently working together to tackle sectarianism, and the Scottish Government is funding a range of approaches with £9m investment over three years.

The swift legislative response and investment in local community projects demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle the issue but there is now a need to effect long-term cultural change and that requires a wider, longer term approach. Youth Link

Scotland has worked with a range of partner organizations, agencies, communities and individuals to generate content for the website
and will continue to work in partnership to achieve the ultimate goal of a Scotland free from sectarianism.

Want to get involved?

The design of the website as an open source platform allows for east access and editing of their website with this option being open to anyone in the Action on Sectarianism (AoS) Network. Youth Link Scotland has offered training for

administrators and editors of the website and will continue to offer this option so that the website stays fresh and is open to all.


Children and Young people


Parents, carers, community groups

Organisations taking action

Fair Play Foundation - Colours of our Scarves

Youth Work Games - Muirhouse Youth Development Group

Pitch Perfect 2018

Sing Something Else

Bridges and Barriers Project

B&B Young People Interviews

Get Involved

Get support for sectarianism

If you have experienced or witnessed any form of sectarianism you can get information on the support available in the guidance sections of the young people and adults pages. If you need to report a hate crime you can do so by contacting Police Scotland or through a Third Party Reporting Centre. More information on this is available in our Guidance pages.

Tel 0131 313 2488 Email aos@youthlinkscotland.org

Do something in your community

If you want to take action and do something to tackle sectarianism in your community you can find out how others have been successful in our Directory and Library pages. There is lots of information there to use as inspiration. If you are doing something, tell us about it and we will feature your good news and events on the website and through our social media channels. Also get in touch if you need support or guidance.

Tel 0131 313 2488 Email aos@youthlinkscotland.org

Have resources to upload?

Have you created an amazing resource that helps to tackle sectarianism in your community? Then why not share it with us and let others access it and learn from your good practice. To submit a resource, event or news article email or call us at the details below.

Tel 0131 313 2488 Email aos@youthlinkscotland.org

Monday, March 4th 2019

Blind Hate or First Date? Sectarianism is a Turn Off


Sectarianism is a Turn Off’ - that’s the message of a new online campaign aimed at encouraging young people to consider how sectarian attitudes and language can impact on their love lives.

With it being Valentine’s Day and as use of online dating apps grows, leading charityNil by Mouth have teamed up with students from City of Glasgow College to launch the campaign highlighting how sectarianism can impact on life choices and personal relationships. The charity will run adverts across a range of social media platforms and dating apps over the next few weeks in an effort to hammer home the message that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

The campaign was the winning entry in the charity’s ‘Pitch Perfect’ competition in conjunction with the college which sees marketing students compete to devise a campaign aimed at raising awareness of sectarianism across west central Scotland. CreatorsAli Pearce, Bobbi Parks and Grace Smith wanted to look beyond football and violence and drew on the experiences of their friends and classmates to discover how use of sectarian language or posting sectarian content online impacted on how they would view someone as a potential love match.

The all-female team today launched their ‘Sectarianism is a Turn Off’campaign in Glasgow City Centre and are urging others to think about what impression such behaviour gives to people they may be attracted too and the consequences for their own reputation. The campaign comes just a few week after research conducted by theHumanist Society of Scotland showed that around 10% of people in Scotland would not accept someone of a different religion marrying a relative.

Nil by Mouth was set up by Glasgow teenager Cara Henderson in response to the brutal sectarian murder of her school friend Mark Scoty in 1995 as he made his way home from a football match in the city. Mark’s killer singled him out because of the colour of the scarf he was wearing. Since then the charity has worked with tens of thousands of people to highlight the negative impact of sectarian attitudes on society.

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:

‘We know that sectarian attitudes have lingered over relationships here for decades. One of the most depressingly recurring themes at our events has been people reflecting on how family attitudes toward boyfriends and girlfriends were often shaped by perceptions such as what school they went too, football team they supported or even their name. This campaign is not only trying to get people to stop and think about how their attitudes can impact on others but also on their own chances of happiness. If you frequently use sectarian language or post abuse on the internet people will hear and see that and an awful lot of people will think less of you including potential partners.  We’ll be running this campaign across several social media sites in an effort to ensure that we reach as many people as possible.’

Winner Ali Pearce said:

‘We created this campaign because we wanted to make people think about their own attitudes and try and move discussion of this issue away from football and violence. We’ve all came across people who either use sectarian language in company or post sectarian abuse online and there’s no getting away from the fact that it is a huge turn off for the vast majority of people. Loads of people are using dating apps like Tinder and Bumble these days and it’s no secret that users will go one sites like Facebook and Twitter to get more of a sense of the person who may be liking their profiles. If they see that you spend your time abusing others just because that are different to you it’ll hardly encourage them to return your interest. Our message is don’t let blind hate cost you a first date.’


For further information please contact Dave Scott on 07854210444

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