More than 50 young people from North East Glasgow were being recognised for their work in tackling sectarianism in the city.
The teenagers were honoured for their work as part of Royston Youth Action’s (RYA) ‘Dealing with Difference’ project at a ceremony held in Glasgow Caledonian University’s Deeprose Lecture Theatre in front of an audience of community activists, anti-sectarian campaigners and local politicians.
The project, which has been funded by the Scottish Government, has been running for two years and the teenagers have been drawn from catholic and non-denominational secondary schools across the North East of the city including: All Saints Secondary in Barmulloch, Smithycroft Secondary in Riddrie (S3 and (S4), Springburn Academy and St Roch’s Secondary in Royston.
In all, 55 young people received ‘Royston Phoenix Awards’ recognising their commitment to the programme and the building of bridges with people from different religious and cultural backgrounds. Young People have been working on various activities throughout the project including: group work and discussions; sculpture workshops as well as residential trips through the Outward Bound Trust, participating in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing and abseiling, canoeing and hillwalking.
RYA Anti-sectarianism Project Worker Morven Bruce said:‘‘We are very proud of all the young people who have participated in this project and we have seen new friendships being formed and horizons widened. Many of the young people we work with have never experienced outdoors activities, or been away from home, and it was a valuable experience for young people to participate in.
‘‘They have also achieved Outward Bound Trust (OBT) participatory certificates for their team work, and a few have been nominated for Skills for Life Scholarships through the Outward Bound Trust. One young person from St Roch’s Secondary has also been approved for the Mark Scott Leadership Award programme through the (OBT).
‘‘We decided to create the Royston Phoenix Awards, based on a young person’s response to being asked about bigotry in our society. They told us that “Sectarianism in Scotland shouldn’t exist, we should be rising above it all.” These are powerful sentiments and our young people’s message is loud and clear: by working together we can defeat sectarianism once and for all.”