I Am Me - #MakeaDifferenceScotland Programme!!!

by Mhairi O'Rourke in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 28th January 2020 we successfully raised £136 with 11 supporters in 55 days

To be able to raise awareness of different disabilities, bullying, hate crime and mental health to primary school children in 10 schools.

by Mhairi O'Rourke in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom


I Am Me Scotland is a community led charity that work in partnership with Police Scotland to raise awareness of and tackle disability hate crime.  

Disability related harassment and abuse (Disability Hate Crime) is one of the most under reported crimes in the UK, with an estimated 97% of incidents going unreported. This is for many reasons including; fear of reprisal, unsure how to report incidents, not realising what is happening could be a crime and sadly, some disabled people and their families have come to accept abuse and harassment as part of normal daily life.

The Charity was set up in 2013 by a member of the Renfrewshire community in response to a TV documentary about Disability Hate Crime. Instead of saying “Why is no-one doing anything about this?”, she decided to actually do something about it, and so I Am Me Scotland was born!


We have two key initiatives:

  • Keep Safe
  • #MakeaDifferenceScotland Programme

Our KEEP SAFE Initiative. 

We believe everyone has the right to feel and "Keep Safe" 


Keep Safe is an award winning national network which creates Keep Safe places for anyone who feels lost, scared or vulnerable when out in the community. There are over 700 Keep Safe places across Scotland. If you would like to sponsor Keep Safe, please get in touch! Keep Safe places can be any business, such as libraries or cafes, who are identified by displaying the I Am Me logo sticker in the window. 

All Keep Safe places can be found on our free Keep Safe Scotland App and on the I Am Me Website - www.iammescotland.co.uk. If you would like to sponsor Keep Safe, please get in touch!

Lets #MakeaDifferenceScotland!

The Scottish Government, (2017) found that two thirds of young people with a learning disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) had experienced bullying.


 Our #MakeaDifferenceScotland programme is a suite of engaging training resources and films which we use in primary schools. We deliver the workshops either in the classroom or on our Cinebus. Our Cinebus is a 40ft single decker bus that has been converted into a mobile education unit/cinema.


The workshops have been designed to be progressive with lessons tailored to each year group e.g. P3 last year will progress to P4 programme this year. 

Each workshop begins with an age appropriate film that will prompt discussions to raise awareness of all different types of disabilities (visible and non-visible), mental health, bullying, exclusion and hate crime.


We think that early intervention and prevention is key to helping children understand that not everyone is the same, and that’s ok.  We discuss that we are all different, and no-one should be treated differently because of who they are. 

For the past 3 years we have worked with over 30,000 primary school children and received funding for our #MakeaDifferenceScotland programme, however this year we did not secure funding. This means that we have to ask schools to pay for our visits to cover staffing/resource costs. Some schools are having to fund our visits by holding fundraising events, but this can pose difficult in the current climate. 

WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO!                                                                                                                                                                                   We want to continue to create the right conditions for our children to be able to learn about and discuss these tricky subjects! We believe in doing so, we will continue to tackle attitudes and behaviours that lead to incidents within our schools and communities.  


                                                                                                          Our Cinebus is an exciting and innovative place for us deliver the workshops. Thanks to Stagecoach donating our lovely big bus, we have managed to attend hundreds of events and deliver our school programme to thousands of primary school children.      

However, our Cinebus is getting a little old and tired (sssssshhhhh don't tell him we said that!). We are hoping to get another (newer) bus donated. If we were to raise enough money to allow us to continue the #MakeaDifferenceScotland programme, we would use the additional funds to go towards the renovation of a new bus!


We believe our #MakeaDifferenceScotland programme does make a difference in helping to raise awareness and tackle disability hate crime.                                                                                                                                                                                    We need to raise funds to allow us to continue with this amazing work!                                                                                                                                                                                               HELP us to strive to continuously develop and promote our programme to allow us to educate and listen to our children to make a difference in the future!


“Hello, I just wanted to send a big thank you to the Cinebus team who travelled to my son’s school today. My 8-year-old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s on Monday. Since Monday, my husband and I have been trying to decide upon the best way to talk to our son about his diagnosis. We weren’t sure what to do. Today, he came home from school very excited because he had listened to an autistic person share about autism on the Cinebus. He said “Mum, he sounded just like me – do you think I could be autistic?” This opened the prefect opportunity for us to talk to our son about autism. Because of his experience on the Cinebus today, he now understands his diagnosis and does not see it in a negative light at all.  Thank you!" (Parent)

 “I promote the charity and fundraise. I like all the work the I Am Me team do, because they do such an amazing terrific job. They all inspire me and Keep Safe makes me feel very safe.” Andrew, (Lead Keep Safe Ambassador).

"I learned that people with disabilities should never doubt what they can do"(Pupil)

"I learned more about bullying. I learned about more disabilities. I have learned about telling someone if you are being bullied and it changed my life" (Pupil)

Subscribe to our Newsletter by contacting us on www.iamme@renfrewshire.gov.uk and subscribe to our YouTube channel to find lots of information about the charity, and what we do!

With YOUR support we will continue to #MakeaDifferenceScotland. 

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