Happy tenth birthday, SCCR!

As SCCR marks ten years of conflict resolution with a reception at the Scottish Parliament, our new blog highlights the history behind SCCR's launch, what we've been doing this past decade, and thanks the friends we made along the way.

As Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR) marks its tenth anniversary this week, we’re going to take this moment to reflect on and to celebrate SCCR’s achievements.

When the service launched in 2014, 6,000 young people were presenting as homeless every year, with the leading cause relationship breakdown. Today, it’s 5,000, which remains high – it’s roughly the equivalent of five high school’s worth of young people – but we welcome the direction of travel. SCCR is proud and pleased to have contributed to a wave of change in Scotland. The stigma some might once have felt about asking for help with their relationships has diminished. Scotland is now a place where parents and carers can feel encouraged to seek help from services like SCCR to a degree that was not general in 2014.

SCCR was created to be a national resource centre for early intervention, mediation and conflict resolution. The idea was that the service could get further upstream with regards to youth homelessness, giving families the tools to avoid or end the kind of arguments that damage relationships. Over the past decade, SCCR has worked across all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities to share best practice in conflict resolution work via high-quality evidence-led products including online and in-person training events and digital resources. Our strategic vision and purpose clearly aligns with the ambitions and policies of the Scottish Government and the National Performance Framework.

Before SCCR launched, we did extensive research including a national survey that told us that Scottish parents, carers and young people wanted to know more about what was going on in teenager’s minds when arguments began. This led to us looking closer at the science of conflict when we began to put together our first resources and events.

We’ve enjoyed good feedback from users for our psychoeducational resources. Kicking off in 2015, our first resource Monkey Vs Lizard looked at how well we respond to stressful situation; Keep the Heid took on anger management; Cranial Cocktails looked at the role brain chemicals – or neurochemicals – play in mood regulation; and The Three Brains explored the role the mind-body connection could play in improving family relationships.

Collaboration is central to our approach. By working in partnership with like-minded organizations and stakeholders, SCCR leverages collective expertise and resources to drive meaningful change. As we celebrate our achievements over the past ten years, we are reminded of what we can achieve when we join forces in pursuit of our common purpose. Given there is so much more we can do with partners, the question is: what can we do next together?

This is the moment when we should thank the many people who have helped us over the past decade. There are too many to mention by name, although we have to thank Dr Sara Watkins for the invaluable advice she provided in the creation of the early psycho-educational resources; Primate for our website; Felipe Bustos Sierra for the films you can find on our website; and Glasgow Science Centre for hosting several of our conferences and signing with us in 2018 a ‘memorandum of understanding’.

As we look to the future, SCCR remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering young people, families, and communities to resolve conflicts peacefully and build a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Together, let us continue to champion collaboration, innovation, and empowerment as we embark on the next chapter of our journey towards a Scotland where youth homelessness is a thing of the past.