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Building resilience in Scotland's boys - online course


Developing resilience helps children understand and value the importance of looking after their own mental health and equips them with the skills to be able to overcome difficulties and stresses in life. However, for some this process can be particularly challenging – be that caused through trauma, emotional regulation or a lack of caring or supportive relationships.

Continuing our successful series on Supporting Boys, this one-day training conference will use a mix of speaker presentations and roundtable discussion sessions, to explore how we can build resilience amongst Scotland’s boys. It will offer those who work with boys and young men the opportunity to share ideas and experiences of how we can best support them to open up about how they are feeling and provide them with the knowledge and capacity to work through the difficulties or challenges they encounter.

The event will explore the following key themes –

  • The impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on resilience
  • The link between attachment and resilience
  • Mentoring boys to reach their full potential
  • The importance of early intervention
  • Reaching the most excluded boys in our society and the impact of street culture
  • The power of community


Detailed course agenda

Session One – Understanding resilience and growing up in Scotland

Welcome and Introduction
Graham Goulden, Director, Cultivating Minds UK

“You’re a big boy now, who doesn’t need so many cuddles”: How baby boys’ fragile stress management system shapes their masculinity

  • What is a baby’s ‘stress management system’?
  • What does the latest science reveal about innate differences in boys’ and girls’ stress management systems?
  • How does this gender difference intersect with cultural norms that shape boys’ performance and experience of masculinity, emotions and relationships?

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, Research Scientist and Developmental Psychologist

Session Two – The importance of educators in building resilience

Start with the adults present in the lives of children and young people

  • We cannot talk about resilience without talking about shame
  • Do we really want our boys and men to show their vulnerability?
  • What happens when the adults learn to lean in to their own emotions?

Pauline Scott, Managing Director, TIGERS Ltd – co-founders of ACE-Aware Nation

Navigating the River of Life

  • Why we are teaching resilience to children in primary schools
  • Introduction to Skipper and the River of Life analogy
  • 10 things identified by the research that we use to build understanding of resilience in pupils, staff and families

Pattie Santelices, Health & Wellbeing Team, City of Edinburgh Council

Session Three – The impact of society on shaping boy’s resilience

Understanding the pressures on our young men – reaching the most vulnerable and excluded in our society

  • Why are young men driven to gang violence, drug misuse and drug supply?
  • How masculinity is socially constructed and the links with vulnerability
  • The impact of social media on boys and young men
  • The real cost of exclusion and how schools / education can help

Professor Ross Deuchar, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of the West of Scotland

Resilience – The power and importance of community

  • Community – the foundation of mental health and wellbeing
  • How can we harness the building blocks of community?
  • Working together to develop individual and collective resilience

Sean Humphreys, Mental Health and Wellbeing Development Officer, Youthlink Scotland

Developing a relationship-based approach to learning

  • What does inclusion look like in a secondary school?
  • How do we change the culture of a profession?
  • Can the inclusion dream be realised?

Douglas Brown, Head Teacher, Boclair Academy

Course rates for learners

1 Learner


3-5 learners

Small group
£ 75 Per person


Large Group
Large group discounts available on request

Introducing Our Trainers

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist fascinated by babies’ inborn capacity to communicate. Since 1993, she has been based at the University of Dundee, within the School of Psychology. In 2011, she set up her own independent training enterprise to disseminate more widely the science of the early years. She now spends much of her time speaking to the public about our human need for emotional and physiological connection. She is able to bring to this her research expertise on topics including parent-infant relationships, family support, communicative disorders, and the socio-political contexts that frame our responses to scientific information. She works closely with organisations throughout the world to increase awareness of the decisions we take about caring for children, illuminating the way in which those decisions are integrally connected to our vision for the kind of society we wish to build.

Pauline Scott

Pauline Scott is Managing Director of TIGERS Ltd. TIGERS are a well-established Scottish Training Provider, Employment Broker and recruitment company, specialising in the training and preparation of Young Persons aged 16-24 for entry into primarily the Construction, Childcare, Business Administration and Mechanics industries as well as other sectors.

Since taking a leading role in the company, Pauline has worked to ensure relationships occupy a central role in the values, practice, policies and vision of the business. Her team’s enthusiastic embrace of the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences has led her to believe in the power of this information to transform not only the lives of young people but also the wider business community.

TIGERS are the co-founders of ACE-Aware Nation, which hosted a 2-day Conference in September 2018, attended by 2200 people. ACE-Aware Nation exists to foster the power of relationships to prevent and mitigate the impact of ACEs.

For more information, visit –

Pattie Santelices

Pattie and her team co-ordinate, develop and deliver a range of programmes and training to promote mental health and wellbeing in children, young people, parents and staff across Edinburgh and the Lothians.  These include Growing Confidence, Roots of Empathy, Building Resilience,  1 in 5 Child Poverty Work, Rights Respecting Schools, Turn Your Life Around and a range of parent and carer programmes. All the work is focused on inspiring pupils, staff and families of how they can make a difference to their own lives and those around them. For more information email: growingconfidence@

Douglas Brown

Douglas Brown has been Head Teacher in Boclair Academy since August 2013 following promotion from his post of Depute Head Teacher in Hyndland Secondary School.  Prior to this he was Principal Teacher of English in Lenzie Academy and Principal Teacher of English and Pastoral Care in Larbert High School.  He has also worked as an Associate Assessor with Education Scotland for the last eleven years.

Over the course of the last six years Douglas has created a relationship based approach to school leadership and improvement.  Respect and Achievement are now core values within in the school, where young people and adults are empowered to lead.  This child centred approach to school life has ensured a strong ethos of inclusion and the achievements and attainment of the school community have increased significantly over this time.

Key to this success has been the development of strong relationships with partners out with the school who share the same vision and values.  As a result of these relationships the school now provides an all through, all-inclusive wider achievement programme which meets the needs of all learners through effective partnership working.

Professor Ross Deuchar

Professor Ross Deuchar is a Scottish criminologist, known primarily for his work on gangs, masculinity, street culture, violence and gang desistance and also on policing, procedural justice and focused deterrence strategies.

Ross constantly strives to include the excluded, and regularly produces research insights which prioritise the voices of the most disadvantaged and hard-to-reach in our society. His work has spanned across three Continents of the world, having worked with the most marginalised and hard-to-reach gang members on the streets and in youth clubs, secure accommodation and prisons and conducted ethnographic research on gang intervention programmes in Scotland, Denmark, the United States of America and Hong Kong. Ross has also engaged in participant observation of frontline police practice, street advocacy and youth work in both the United States of America and Scotland.

In March 2010, Ross was runner-up for the Economic and Social Research Council’s prestigious Michael Young Prize in recognition of his research into gang culture in the West of Scotland. In 2016-17, he was the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright scholarship award and spent a semester as Fulbright scholar-in-residence within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University, USA.

Ross is the author of the pioneering new book Gangs and Spirituality: Global Perspectives’ (2018, Palgrave MacMillan), which was featured on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Thinking Allowed’ programme in the summer of 2018.

He has also authored the highly acclaimed book, ‘Gangs, Marginalised Youth and Social Capital’ (2009, Trentham); its sequel ‘Policing Youth Violence: Transatlantic Connections’ (2013, Trentham, IOE Press); co-editor of ‘Researching Marginalized Groups’ (2016, Routledge) and co-author of ‘Young People and Social Control: Problems and Prospects from the Margins’ (2017, Palgrave MacMillan).

You can find out more about Ross and his work on his website –

Graham Goulden

Graham Goulden, BA, is an experienced and committed violence prevention trainer. For thirty year’s he was a Scottish police officer and Chief Investigator specialising in criminal investigation, drug investigation, training and crime prevention. For the last eight years of his policing career he was a key member of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (

In 2010 Graham introduced The Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme (MVP) into high schools across Scotland, successfully handing over the overall lead to Education Scotland in 2017. MVP is a leader in bystander education in the United States ( Graham continues to support MVP development in Scotland as well as being a trainer for the US MVP organisation.

In addition, he has conducted numerous trainings and keynote speeches in Scotland, England, Wales, Sweden, and in the United States. In addition to conducting bystander trainings, Graham has expert knowledge and experience in embedding violence prevention programmes within local government, and has been able to build sustainable models for the longer term.

Graham has delivered prevention trainings in many different settings including high schools, colleges, universities, in work places, in prisons, with military and police and with professional and amateur sports in the UK and United States. Graham has worked with many different individuals and groups using bystander activities to engage audiences in the prevention of violence. Graham has worked with hairdressers, dentists, vets, fire officers, police & prison officers, bar & security staff, the military as well as in local communities.

Graham is a passionate advocate of the MVP Programme and the bystander approach. He is committed to engaging individuals making it clear that we all have a role in the prevention of violence in our communities. Since retiring from the police service he has set up the organisation ‘Cultivating Minds UK’ with the primary aim of starting conversations in many different settings and communities to promote healthy relationships and successful outcomes. He continues to work with the violence reduction unit in prevention work across Scotland and the UK.

Graham holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Studies and a Certificate in Training from Napier University, Edinburgh. He lives with his family near Edinburgh.

Sean Humphreys

Sean Humphreys is Mental Health and Wellbeing Development Officer for Youthlink Scotland (the national agency for Youth Work). Sean is a counsellor, therapist, practice supervisor, coach and training consultant with experience of working in the field of psychology and its applications to therapeutic settings, leadership and educational environments.

He has presented at conferences in other areas of Europe as well as in Britain in recent years and has over two decades of experience of building relationships and working with young people, both in one to one and group settings in communities across Scotland.