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Safe To Be Me Programme Launched in Perth Secondary Schools By Scottish Ballet

The workshops in secondary schools will engage with pupils in S1 to S3. 

Safe To Be Me Programme Launched in Perth Secondary Schools By Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet's ground breaking Safe To Be Me programme that uses dance to tackle challenging subjects including racism, homophobia, bigotry, ableism and transphobia will be launched for the first time in secondary schools in Perth before being rolled out once again across selected schools in the Highlands and Central Scotland. The workshops in secondary schools will engage with pupils in S1 to S3.

Since launching in 2019, Safe To Be Me , supported by abrdn, has engaged with over 5,400 young people through workshops, inspiring speaker talks, and specially curated film projects. The initiative provides a safe space for young people to understand and explore identity in a unique, experiential way, sharing the message that everyone should be free to be themselves and feel 'Safe to Be Me'.

Safe To Be Me is delivered in line with key Scottish Government targets devised to address issues of diversity and inclusion, with ongoing consultation and training taking place with organisations including LGBT Youth Scotland and The Proud Trust, amongst others. For this next phase of delivery, as well as piloting the initiative in secondary schools the Scottish Ballet team will be going back to primary schools they first engaged with in 2019, building on these relationships to embed the programme further and increase impact.

"abrdn is delighted to continue our support of the Safe to be Me Programme for a third year. This inspiring community programme, which facilitates conversations around identity, inclusion and respect, creating a safe space for young people to express themselves, is something we're proud to be associated with. We're looking forward to learning more about the positive impact the programme has on young people - and their families -who participate in the workshops across Scotland." says Judith Kynaston, Head of Global Brand at abrdn

"With the support of abrdn, our Safe to Be Me programme has had a significant impact on the lives of young people across Scotland. Through specially developed movement workshops, Safe to Be Me opens up dialogue and inspires respect and acceptance amongst participants and their wider communities. We are proud that through abrdn's generous support we are not only able to grow Safe to Be Me year on year, but that we are working in partnership to encourage young people to celebrate their differences. " Catherine Cassidy, Director of Engagement, Scottish Ballet

Positive feedback has been received from young people who have taken part in Safe to Be Me and from teachers. One teacher from a school stated that: 'The whole experience has been absolutely amazing, and I think it will have a massive lasting impact on the class. The results were beautiful and effective.'

The demand for the programme continues to grow, with almost one third (30%) of children in Scotland admitting they had been bullied since the start of the school year in a survey by respectme Scotland's Anti-Bullying service.[1] A separate survey of more than 1200 (1281) pupils across 31 local authorities by LGBT Youth Scotland and respectme found that 40% of pupils had experienced bullying, and more than half were aware of others who had experienced bullying. Almost 25% of pupils were aware of other pupils experiencing specifically prejudice-based bullying.[2] There is evidence that dance and movement techniques helped children develop social skills and self-control and gave young people the motivation to act against bullying[3], demonstrating the value of programmes such as Safe to Be Me.




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