Supporting Communities to Tackle Sectarianism (SCoTTS)

Roseanna Cunningham

People in different communities experience sectarianism in different ways and there is a need for long lasting solutions to these issues, tailored to the needs of these communities. Previous Government funded initiatives have been designed and delivered by independent organisations based outside specific geographic communities and so were not designed to respond to specific identified community needs. There is now a growing recognition of the need to test out whether and how community-led or community-driven approaches can positively contribute to making a long-lasting impact.


In December 2011 Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) and the Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) were commissioned by the Community Safety Unit of Scottish Government to undertake a 'proof of concept' project aimed at scoping out and testing the parameters of a more community-led approach to tackling sectarianism. The purpose of the Supporting Communities to Tackle Sectarianism (SCoTTS) programme, was to test for the most appropriate methods of delivering these outcomes. The projects took place over a period of 3 months from January to March 2012 and employed different methodologies to developing and supporting community-led approaches to tackling sectarianism. You can read the composite report from the first phase of the programme here.

In the second phase of the programme, funded from 2012-2015, SCDC established ‘co-inquiry' sessions - an action research process where learning could be shared and developed.  Community-led projects who participated in the programme recognised sectarianism as an issue in their community and wanted to explore approaches to tackling it effectively.  The programme helped to develop local understandings of sectarianism.

Read this fantastic blog on the 2012-2015 phase of the programme for some insight into the richness of the programme and it's achievements.

End of Project Report to the Scottish Government Tackling Sectarianism Programme - 2013-15