Students Help Serve up Neeps and Tatties

Nil By Mouth have teamed up with students from City of Glasgow College to bring our message of tolerance and change to thousands of children in the next few months.


On St Andrew’s Day we launched ‘Neeps and Tatties’ which uses the Scots language to encourage children to build bridges higher than walls. The book is being made available free of charge to teachers and parents in the run up to Burns Night 2022.

Created by author Carey Morning and illustrator Anna York, Neeps and Tatties’ tells the story of two warring vegetable tribes who are finally encouraged to put the past behind them in the interests of a better future. The book examines issues such as discrimination and prejudice and highlights how old grievance can be overcome by a new generation. It was shortlisted for ‘Bairns Book of The Year’ at this year’s Scots Language Awards.

The promotional campaign is being spearheaded by City of Glasgow college students Dara Cetin, Michael Peters, Ryan Pollock and Chris Lindsay, who won Nil by Mouth’s ‘Pitch Perfect’ competition, which sees more than a hundred advertising students compete to secure the chance to run a multi-media campaign. The group have designed a range of materials focused on the story’s ‘Haggis’ character, who helps bring people together and the character will visit schools over the next few weeks to promote the book. The group hope their campaign will see the book used in more than 400 schools between St Andrews Day 2021 and Burns Night 2022.

Support from the Templeton Trust and funds secured by pupils at Whitehill Secondary School has ensured that more than 500 copies of the book will be available to teachers. These will be accompanied by a free activity pack that children can use at school or home as well as a free digital version of the book which can be downloaded from the Scots Language Centre website.

Welcoming the launch Nil by Mouth Founder Cara Henderson said: “We are excited by the potential of this project to reach tenshttps://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/node/id/1071 of thousands of children over the next few months. The stories we tell our children help shape how they see the world and make sense of the differences that exist around them. Nil by Mouth has always been about considering the power of words and this book uses them as a force for good. This is a story with a very strong message about hope and the power of children to encourage their elders to look again at their certainties and consider if things might not now be as they have always feared. In a city where just a few weeks ago young people from around the world gathered to tell us why we should act to protect our planet I hope this book encourages children to question and adults to consider their answers.”

Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said: “St Andrews Day is the perfect occasion to launch our latest campaign which seeks to use storytelling and the Scots language to encourage children to think about the role they can play in creating a fairer world. This project has been brought together by the goodwill of so many people, from Carey and Anna donating their beautiful work to the students who came up with the marketing campaign and the Whitehill pupils who secured the money to let us give away so many copies to schools. Last year ‘Neeps and Tatties’ was used in more than 200 schools and, driven by the students’ campaign, we are hopeful we can double that over the next few months. The support we have received means we can offer the book, resources and activities absolutely free of charge to schools and parents across Scotland and we hope that anyone with an interest in promoting equality and celebrating Scots will get involved.”

Teachers can request their free class copy of the book from the charity by emailing mail@nilbymouth.org. Parents can access the free digital version from the Scots Language Centre website: www.scotslangauge.com