‘Dundee – A Confident City’ 23 April 2014

Dundee Partnership Forum

The Dundee Partnership Forum brings together a broad range of partner organisations to participate in discussion on key strategic issues for the city. The meeting on Wednesday 23rd April 2014 was entitled ‘Dundee – A Confident City’ and was organised jointly by Go Dundee and Dundee City Council.

The main trigger for the event was the increasing confidence in Dundee arising from the city’s participation in the UK City of Culture process where there is a strong desire to build on this confidence rather than allow it to dissipate. The Dundee Partnership Forum event looked across the various community planning themes to explore, for example, confidence within the arts, business, education/young people, community, etc. The event took place at Malmaison Dundee which is itself a demonstration of business confidence in Dundee. 50 people from a broad range of organisations attended the event.

The Forum was introduced by Councillor Ken Guild, Chair of the Dundee Partnership, and was chaired by Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure & Communities, Dundee City Council.

Cllr Ken Guild

Councillor Ken Guild – Chair of Dundee Partnership

Stewart Murdoch

Stewart Murdoch – Director of Leisure & Communities, Dundee City Council

We were very fortunate to secure a great line up of speakers (see photos below) who addressed different aspects of confidence.

Carol Craig (Chief Executive, Centre for Confidence & Well-Being) – keynote speaker

Carol Craig - Chief Executive, Centre for Confidence & Well-Being

Clive Gillman (Director, DCA) – ‘Confidence through culture’

Clive Gillman 2

Neil Gunn (Head of Community Learning & Development, Dundee City Council) – ‘Community confidence’

Neil Gunn

Kathryn Torode (North-East Local Community Planning Partnership) – Community representative

Kathryn Torode – NE Local Community Planning Partnership

Charis Robertson (Assistant Director, Hot Chocolate Trust) – ‘Building young people’s confidence’

Charis Robertson

Charis (Joe graphic)

Andy Lothian (Chief Executive, Insights) – ‘Business confidence’

Andy Lothian

Conclusions and actions

The conclusions and actions from the two discussion sessions are set out below.

Discussion 1

From your own experience, please describe how confidence has helped an individual, group or organisation to achieve success in some way.


  • Positive frame of mind is important – never give up.
  • Control over one’s own destiny is a factor in confidence.
  • Confidence stems from self-belief and your ability to achieve.
  • Confidence is a key factor in making changes and taking risks.
  • Doing something scary can help to boost confidence.
  • Self-belief is important and can encourage others to achieve.
  • Concentrate on the positive and take control of your life.

People Connecting

  • Local knowledge helps to connect people and is therefore an important part of being confident.
  • People who feel connected/engaged, e.g. with their community, city, workplace, friends, family, etc. are more likely to feel confident.
  • Networking is really important but it may take time for young people to become adept at this.
  • Better integration within communities and a ‘can do’ attitude help to build confidence and avoid people being frightened to fail – need to work together as a team and ‘integrate devices’.
  • Making local connections can help students to build confidence and choose to stay in Dundee.
  • When working with partners it’s important to have positive momentum.

Overcoming Adversity

  • Use confidence to create a culture of resilience to deal with knock backs.
  • Stay confident by resisting pessimism and blame.
  • People often need help to tackle hopelessness before they can start to build confidence.
  • If you don’t succeed the first time, have the confidence to try again.
  • Physical renewal, e.g. housing regeneration, needs to be matched by social renewal.
  • Older people may lack confidence and need help and encouragement to get involved.
  • The Timebanking project in Whitfield is an example of skills swapping, generating personal value and collaborative endeavour – ultimately building confidence.
  • People with learning difficulties may lack confidence but support to build confidence as a group can be helpful, e.g. a self-advocacy group encouraging members to communicate their aspirations, discuss the difficulties they face and, ultimately, take control of their lives.

A Confident City

  • Positive news about your city, e.g. Dundee Waterfront, can instil confidence in the city’s people.
  • The V&A and City of Culture bid have both had a positive, confidence-building effect on the city.
  • Celebrate success, e.g. when Dundee is doing well compared to other cities.
  • Leadership and ambition can breed viagradosage-50mg100mg200mg.com confidence in a city.
  • Give the silent majority the chance to express positive views, e.g. as in the City of Culture bid.
  • Community confidence can be a difficult concept to gauge.
  • It is important to generate a ‘feel good factor’.
  • Highlight the importance of leadership and building from small starts e.g. life sciences in Dundee.

Learning and Skills

  • People knowing that they have a skill helps to build confidence, e.g. there is a project in Dundee which helps Christmas school leavers to improve their knowledge of life in general.
  • Confidence can be built by learning from other successful people and places.
  • Children may lack confidence due to a focus on achievement.
  • Give young people the chance to shine in non-academic settings, e.g. Dundee Schools Music Theatre and the aspire project.

Building Confidence

  • Empowering people helps to build confidence, especially among young people.
  • Family support is important in helping young people to build confidence.
  • Schools need to build young people’s self-esteem.
  • People should take advantage of whatever help may be on offer to turn their lives around.
  • Too much information can undermine confidence but humour can help to build confidence.
  • Build on the passion that people have.
  • Overconfidence can be a problem as well as lack of confidence.
  • Give people a chance to show that they have abilities and can be successful.

Stories (six examples of the stories told during this discussion session)

With an initial interest in drama, a group whose members had a range of learning disabilities formed a self-advocacy group, largely based on the confidence gained from having put on drama performances. Their increased confidence enabled them to communicate their aspirations and led to their speaking up for others too, becoming spokespeople around issues relating to learning disabilities. When a disabilities strategy was being drawn up, they wrote their own section and they also speak at conferences, inspiring others to join the group and speak up.

A group of women felt that the service they received through local mental health services was poor as it focussed on what was wrong with them and what would be done to them. They disconnected from the service to set up their own group for socialising. They became better engaged with this group and the increased control it gave them in achieving change for themselves. A year on, they have told the NHS what they have been doing wrong and how to improve their services.

A young man from a dysfunctional family became involved with dealing drugs and violence at the age of 10/11 but, with support from local services, was able to find the confidence to turn his life around and distance himself from his former negative activities.

Making Dundee a safer city

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helps to promote confidence among the city’s residents. A project at the Hilltown multis involved increasing safety measures through sheltered housing, safety wardens, etc. Community surveys and feedback demonstrated a clear link between increased safety and greater confidence.

A project at St Mary’s involved getting to know residents and building trust. Engaging with the community was a transformative process. The community centre became an important focal point for the process. Activities were created for people of all ages. However, despite best efforts, some people were still hard to engage with.

As part of the overhaul of Skills Development Scotland a project was created to build confidence among school pupils. The project aimed to build a relationship first and then to look at what the young people enjoy and value in their personal life. This was a different approach to provision of careers advice. It was noted that higher achievers at school tended to be more confident.

A peer project involved young people aged 13-15 took part in a successful project based on twelve weeks of training – speaking to peers about sex education, drugs, alcohol, etc. Businesses also took part.

Discussion 2

Please identify practical steps that we can take to further improve confidence among Dundee’s people, communities, businesses, institutions and organisations.


  • Share positive stories in order to inspire confidence among others.
  • Ensure good news stories, including more positive articles in local papers and more publicity regarding, e.g. Dundee Partnership Community Regeneration funding.
  • Make use of the ‘About Dundee’ publication (due to be completed soon) to promote positive aspects of the city.
  • Identify the key people that can spread a positive message about Dundee, e.g. taxi drivers.
  • Focus on the positivity experienced in small areas e.g. individual streets, sheltered housing complexes, etc. as this evolves into larger and larger areas until wards and then Dundee as a whole are covered. “What’s good in your street?” turns into “What’s good in your City?”.
  • Foster a belief that things are achievable not just possible.
  • Celebrate success, improve Dundee’s media profile and promote Dundee as Scotland’s most liveable city.
  • Promote a positive vision for the city

People Connecting

  • Highlight the importance of people feeling that they belong to a particular area.
  • More engagement and consultation is required with communities to break down the barriers to greater involvement and influence in the city’s key issues, e.g. consultation regarding the affordability of public transport, e.g. to the new Olympia.
  • Work together to bring the will and ideas to make things happen.
  • Find more innovative ways of engaging communities.
  • Apply collective energies to achieve real results.
  • Raise community aspirations.
  • Education providers and employers should work in partnership to deliver the aspiration that every young person leaving school will be offered a job or a training opportunity.
  • Help community groups to maintain their confidence by promoting their activities and involving them in a wider (strategic) capacity in addition to their core activities.
  • Increase the profile of Local Community Planning Partnerships and develop their role in bringing stakeholders together to support communities.
  • Develop improved strategies to combat deprivation in Dundee.

Overcoming Adversity

  • Stories about people experiencing adversity are familiar but stories about people who have overcome adversity (like the example in the Hot Chocolate Trust presentation) are less well known. We should get better at sharing stories of hope with communities, where they will resonate and be a powerful positive viagra pills images force.

Young People

  • Increase engagement with young people.
  • Show young people how to play a role in Dundee.
  • Support young people to take up opportunities wherever they appear.
  • Help young people to develop their vocational and life skills.
  • Make young people feel part of a community.
  • Engage young people in the transformation of the city, promoting a positive message and a positive image of Dundee.
  • Highlight the opportunities that are emerging for young people and the next generation of our workforce, whether in construction, service, hospitality or creative sector.
  • Retain more of the city’s graduates.
  • Provide a platform for in-coming students to speak positively about the city and show pride in having been educated here.
  • Develop more employment and training opportunities for young people.
  • Ensure that school education responds to the specific need to build confidence among pupils.
  • Non-academic i doser viagra pupils are not always supported towards a successful, confident outcome.
  • Some parents use school as childcare and do not see their role in building confidence.
  • Schools often have to ‘pick up the pieces’ from poor parenting and lack of confidence.


  • Promote enterprise and encourage development of technical and life skills (as an extreme example, consider how young hackers have gone on to take up jobs in IT security).
  • Nurture and harness motivation in the pursuit of confidence and success.
  • Ensure that work is the prevailing ethos/purpose.
  • Encourage people to seek advice from the full range of support services.
  • Help people to avoid the benefit trap or fall through the support net.
  • Ensure that support services for employment/training/learning are streamlined and accessible.
  • People need to experience a sense of achievement.
  • Private Sector Ambassadors – engaging businesses to lift confidence and inspire action.
  • Cross promotion of businesses.
  • Bigger businesses taking smaller ones under their wing.
  • Continue to take on pilot projects. At present we support the largest Carers Centre in Scotland, and they continue to take on a range of new initiatives and project work.
  • Maintain the Dundee to London air service as a symbol of a successful city economy
  • Create mechanisms that will increase connections between businesses and communities.
  • Encourage more new businesses and talented people to locate in Dundee.


  • Develop a structured approach to major life changes such as housing and communities so that the expectations of all types of families and households can be satisfied by initiatives such as the Western Gateway.
  • Make cialis vs viagra strength connections between all Dundee residents and the opportunities provided through the V&A and make it a relevant, popular community resource that is well used by local people.
  • Put the V&A at the heart of a range of tourism opportunities across the wider region.
  • Create a new railway station that provides an impressive gateway experience to the city.
  • Create more opportunities for community volunteering.

Photography and illustrations by Joe Lafferty. Additional photography by Steve Carter.


Carol Craig blog

Following the Dundee Partnership Forum event, keynote speaker Carol Craig posted the following observations on her blog page http://www.centreforconfidence.co.uk/carolsblog.php:

Wisdom from the City of Discovery

Posted 24/04/2014

I am particularly fond of Dundee and really love being invited to speak at events there. I suppose I am particularly predisposed to the city as the Go Dundee group got together as the result of the conference I organised in 2004 with Malcolm Gladwell as the keynote speaker, called Scotland’s Tipping Point. Since then Go Dundee have run a number of great events and projects.

The latest event they asked me to speak at was entitled ‘Dundee – a Confident City’. As it was a Dundee Partnership Forum event there were folk there from organisations right across the city.

There were some great speakers, time for interesting discussions and, as is often the case in Dundee, lots of buzz, energy and a sense of mission.

However, one talk particularly interested viagra es de venta libre me. It was given by Charis Robertson of the Hot Chocolate Trust. They work with young people aged between 12 and 21 who ‘hang out in the city centre’. I had heard about them before and know that they are terrific at engaging with young people, many of whom come from difficult backgrounds and can have challenging behaviours.

Anyway, as the theme of the event was confidence, Charis devoted some of her talk to telling us how young folk in the project responded when she asked them to define confidence and describe confident people.

She told the audience that the young people she spoke to think ‘confident people’ –

  • know what they are about – ie they have a sense of purpose and passion for what their involved in
  • are comfortable in their own skin. They are also aware of their strengths and weaknesses and don’t need to compare themselves with other people
  • have community and support
  • have something to give and are aware of other people’s needs and what they have to offer.

As Charis pointed out this list is essentially ‘relational’ – it is primarily about friendship, love and family.

What struck me about this list is its wisdom – it is both mature and insightful.

What also struck me is how different it is from the list you often get from people working with young people: they are much more likely to stress achievement, success and reaching goals.

What I am intrigued to know is whether this list is a reflection of this particular group of youngsters who are particularly seeking community and family through the Hot Chocolate Trust or whether it reflects this generation of young people. Have they sussed, for example, that their generation looks like its going to struggle with careers and achievements and this is reflected in their own ambitions for life?