Being Me... Being a Dad

A two-part workshop by Fathers Network Scotland that examines who we are in the world, who we are to those who share our lives – and who we might become as a man and a dad.

Being Me... Being a Dad

2018-01-13.pngA two-part workshop that examines who we are in the world, who we are to those who share our lives – and who we might become as a man and a dad.

To find out more or book a date, contact our trainer: [email protected]



These workshops were initially developed as part of a joint pilot project with Fathers Network Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service. They are the fruits of many years of experience of working with men inside and outside of prison in a wide variety of contexts. They were designed from the outset to achieve a specific effect and with a definite goal in mind – to influence personal change and in so doing reduce reoffending. The pilot project took place in 4 High Security Scottish Prisons and was judged to have been a resounding success by Scottish Prison Service management at the highest levels.

Although the workshops were developed to meet a specific need the approach behind them can be applied within a wide variety of work with men. They are easily accessible at every level and yet have the power to change attitudes and help develop effective skills that support and encourage men to cope better both as individuals and as fathers in the midst of our busy, challenging lives.

Workshop 1

Workshop_lr.jpgThis workshop is delivered by David Devenney, Fathers Network Scotland. Before joining the team at Fathers Network Scotland David served for over 20 years with the Royal Marines. He is a neuro linguistics practitioner specializing in coaching and mentoring. After his career in the UK military he successfully headed a team delivering learning skills and personal development within three high security prisons in the South West of England for three years. He is the author of ‘Perspectives…Doing Life Differently’ a three-module, National Open College-accredited life skills programme.

This workshop will:

  • Encourage participants to assess and describe their current life situation in realistic terms including home situation and relationships.
  • Support and encourage them to consider the kinds of changes they need in order to develop and sustain positive personal relationships with their children, family and working life.
  • Set realistic and achievable personal objectives and make action plans for self-improvement.
  • Focus in its second phase upon differing aspects of fatherhood and the importance of good relationships, offering encouragement and developing skills in order to become the dad they want to be.

Learning OutcomesIMG_8558_play1_lr.jpg

By the end of this session participants will be able to: 

  • Acknowledge and recognize their personal strengths and weaknesses in developing good personal and inter-family and work relationships 
  • Understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism and how we can use both to help us navigate a positive path through our work and personal relationships.
  • Understand the difference between aggressive, passive and assertive behaviours and how they can influence how we live and respond in our everyday lives.
  • Understand the responsibilities and benefits of positive parenting through attachment and role modelling.
  • Develop strategies for good relationships with child/children and partner to maintain a healthy level of wellbeing.

Workshop 2

This workshop will be delivered by Graham Goulden of Cultivating Minds UK. Graham served as a Chief Inspector for many years within Police Scotland’s ground-breaking Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) before retiring to set up his own business, sharing the fruits of his experience gained within the Police and working with a variety of positive change groups at home and abroad. 

This workshop will:

  • Introduce participants to the concept of leadership in personal relationships as father, partner and male role model and as a preventative tool in the prevention of violence.
  • Help participants develop a personal brand exploring core values that individuals often share. The workshop will start to explore the many challenges and threats to these values.
  • Facilitate participants in discussing types of abuse and respect within relationships. 
  • Introduce participants to the concept of the bystander and their role in the prevention of abuse and violence within the family.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the term leadership and apply it to the prevention of violence.
  • Define violence as operating on a continuum.
  • Discuss the notion of respect in a relationship. 
  • Discuss the term bystander.
  • Identify reasons why many bystanders will when faced with a difficult situation do nothing.
  • Discuss relevant and topical social issues that often impact negatively on both family and community
  • Describe safe ways to demonstrate leadership to prevent different forms of abuse.

What to Expect

Each workshop is challenging and offers an interactive experience that can be tailored for delivery within a variety of contexts: men’s groups, corporate organisations, fire & emergency services, professional sports organisations and much, more using large and small group discussion, interactive group exercises and individual reflection.

Each workshop offers a dynamic learning experience using a variety of approaches that allows for individual reflection and opportunities to share with the wider group ideas and good practice. Exercises within the workshops both individual and group are all about discovering, understanding and applying sound principles for effective living into current professional roles and relationships.

Each workshop seeks to encourage and support each person to reach out and extend their reach beyond what is currently within their grasp as individuals, at home and at work.


Prisoner-students fed back the following comments on how they would apply the learning:

‘I will use it as a foundation to relate back to when I face difficulties and uncertainty’

‘Look at relationships in my life in a different way’

‘To be more positive and look to the future’

‘Take more time to think and be patient’

‘Try out new things to interact with my family’

‘Be positive, everyone makes mistakes…change life’