Parliament event marks homelessness charity’s ‘decade of conflict resolution’

Parliament event marks homelessness charity's 'decade of conflict resolution'

Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR) will mark ‘a decade of conflict resolution’ on the evening of Thursday, 28 March when it celebrates its tenth anniversary at a Scottish Parliament reception.

Sponsored by Sarah Boyack MSP, the reception will be addressed by minister for children, young people, and keeping the promise, Natalie Don.

SCCR was launched in 2014 with a mission to reduce levels of youth homelessness in Scotland. Then, as now, the chief cause of youth homelessness is relationship breakdown within families (according to 2022/23 Scottish Government Statistics).

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 psychoeducational digital resources.

Consequently, SCCR has contributed to a wave of change in Scotland where people have moved away from the stigma associated with asking for help towards a culture where parents and carers feel encouraged to seek support. When SCCR began, 6,000 young people per year were presenting as homeless in Scotland; today, it’s closer to 5,000.

SCCR’s tenth anniversary reception will be held almost on the same day as its 2014 launch. Before an invited audience, SCCR will use the reception to highlight the work it has completed since 2014 and to look what it can achieve in its second decade.

In the same week, SCCR is launching a new section of its website, the Learning Zone, which builds on previous psychoeducational digital resources, partnering information on the role adolescent brain development plays in family conflict with practical coping strategies families and the professionals who work with them can use to enhance emotional health and wellbeing.

SCCR will also run an exhibition, also sponsored by Sarah Boyack MSP, in the Parliament that week.

Minister for children, young people, and keeping the promise Natalie Don, said: “The Scottish Government’s ambition is for all children to grow up loved, safe and respected so that they can reach their full potential. Keeping The Promise by 2030 will ensure this ambition is turned into a reality for all care experienced children and young people.

“We recognise and appreciate the role that Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution is playing in Keeping the Promise for care experienced children, young people and adults by helping to reduce family conflicts and it is a privilege to be addressing their tenth anniversary reception later this month.”

CEO of Cyrenians Ewan Aitken added: “Ten years is a long time and many things have changed, but one thing that has remained constant has been Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution’s commitment to tackling deep-rooted and often hidden social challenges and disadvantages. Through working strategically and in partnership, digitally and in-person, SCCR has provided hope to families that their arguments can be concluded before the point a young person leaves home to sleep rough or sofa surf.”

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