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Postcards from Scotland

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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 19/04/2006

I’ve not managed to write a blog for what seems like ages as I’ve been too involved with other things – particularly with reading and writing for the new Positive Psychology section on our website. When we presented our Activities Report for 2005 to our Board they were delighted at how busy we had been and on the impact we were having. Their only concern was whether we would be able to keep this up. It looks like they have nothing to worry about. Interest in our work continues to grow and if anything our impact is likely to be even greater this year. Our Vanguard events, for example, will take Positive Psychology out to a much wider group of people right round Scotland. Our Resources for Positive Psychology section on the website will have an even greater reach. When it goes live in the next few days it will allow not only people in Scotland to access the learning from Positive Psychology, it will also be an international resource. From the research I’ve been doing I know that our Resources section will be the main, free, internet resource on Positive Psychology.

As a result of last year’s Vanguard Programme, or our action research training courses, a variety of people are now involved in various research projects or are putting together proposals. These will show the effects of this type of work on people across a variety of sectors.

‘Individual confidence’ now features as one of the four purposes of education in Scotland’s new Curriculum for Excellence. This means that interest in confidence is beginning to mount across the education sector in Scotland. The Centre is now making plans to ensure that we have a key part to play in helping educationalists deliver on the new curriculum. In the next few weeks we shall announce a major event on how to build the confidence of young people which we are planning to hold in late October.

The fact that organisations in Scotland are interested in confidence and well-being is also still evident from the requests I’m still receiving to speak at events. For example, I spoke recently at the Violence Reduction Unit’s event attended by senior police and justice staff; at a big conference for public sector finance officers; and at numerous courses and seminars attended by people involved in health care in Scotland.

Media interest has not waned either. The improvement in Scotland’s performance in rugby and at the Commonwealth Games has generated a lot of media coverage about confidence and optimism. One local paper was out interviewing people in the street about optimism following a BBC Scotland news item on sport, confidence and optimism. It even included some information on the Centre. The Centre was also mentioned favourably in the latest edition of the Psychologist magazine. Ray Miller, a clinical psychologist in Edinburgh, has just become President of the British Psychological Association and mentioned us in his inaugural column in the magazine. I was recently interviewed for a New Zealand paper so we’re also beginning to attract attention from elsewhere in the world.

So all in all things are going well and it looks like we’ll have another good report on our activities to present to our Board at the end of the year. My only problem is how to find the time to write blogs when there are so many things going on.

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