An anti-sectarian charity has teamed up with crusading Irvine clergymen to promote a new children’s book championing equality through the Scots language.

Nil by Mouth visited Fullarton Connexions to meet Rev Neil Urquhart and Fr Willie Boyd as they launch the ‘Neeps and Tatties’ project which will see hundreds of copies of a Scots storybook made available for free to schools across Scotland in the run up to Burns Night.

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, highlighting how old grievances can be overcome by a new generation. It was shortlisted for ‘Bairns Book of The Year’ at last year’s Scots Language Awards and the charity are making copies of the book freely available to schools across the country in the lead up to the celebration of the Bard on the 25th January.

Neil and Willie, better known as the ‘Shoes Brothers’, have built up a cult following with their online videos in recent years. Tens of thousands of people have tuned in to their antics as they take a humorous, yet often profound, look at social issues such as climate change, tackling discrimination, loneliness and bringing people from different walks of life together. In 2017 Nil by Mouth presented them with a ‘Champions for Change’ award for their community work.

Their support for the project has already encouraged St Marks, Glebe, Lawthorn, Annick, Castlepark, Woodlands primaries to sign up for copies and tThe charity hopes that every school in Ayrshire will claim a free copy of the book, which have been made available in the lead up to Burns Night.

Acclaimed Scots singer Iona Fyfe also visited Fullarton Connexions to meet Neil and Willie and record a special version of the story in the venue’s auditorium which will be made available from the 17th of January on YouTube.