Scotty entertaining a group of children at a local primary school

Scotty’s magic casts a spell over children and young people


An Ayrshire magician is helping to improve the emotional wellbeing of children and young people through his magical performances.

Known as ‘Scotty the Magician’, Glasgow based entertainer Scott Cuthbertson has wowed young audiences at Whiteleys Retreat, foster homes, schools and within family homes across the breadth of East Ayrshire, and is offering an alternative path for children and young people struggling with confidence and self-esteem.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Services Framework, Scotty uses his strengths, skills and “jolly” personality to support children in East Ayrshire and to identify the root cause of issues affecting them.

Changing mindsets

We were skeptical at first, but Scotty has blown us all away and is encouraging everyone to look at how we can support children differently. He’s offering us an alternative to school counselling or CAMHS, for children who don’t have mental health needs but are struggling with their mental wellbeing.

We’ve developed a notion that unless children are sent to CAMHS they aren’t receiving the right support. We want to move away from this medical model of care and focus on encouraging their confidence, friendships and self-esteem.”

Scotty entertaining a group of primary school children

Sina explains that, as well as entertaining children, Scotty’s magic tricks teach them the meaning of trust, problem solving, social, emotional and cognitive skills, and foster their sense of achievement and self-worth:

Scotty’s had a really positive effect in its widest sense. He’s brought joy to children who struggle to self-regulate, to children affected by trauma and to children in pain and discomfort who are awaiting operations in hospital. He also helps in situations where family relationships have broken down. He brings a real sense of joy and is driven by a passion to improve outcomes for children.”

Scotty teaching a little boy a magic trick

Amazing feedback

Testimonials from school teachers, nurses and advocacy workers speak for themselves, each one filled with glowing praise for the monumental impact Scotty has made on children’s wellbeing.

Particularly heart-warming are reports which show Scotty’s ability to completely transform a child’s behaviour, bringing them out of their shell and empowering them to stand up and perform magic tricks to others. A nurse from a Kilmarnock primary school provided the following comments:

It was a huge success and well above the parents’ expectations. Both mums were amazed and delighted that their boys (and girl, who doesn’t usually lift her head from her phone) had engaged with Scott for almost an hour and a half, which they said is not usually possible.

There were a few blips now and then with one boy’s behaviour but Scott dealt with them really well. He used a variety of tricks and activities, which all four children took part in. The lead child even managed to stand up in front of everyone and copy the card tricks that Scott had taught him. His mum could not believe it!

It was fully evident that Scott had encouraged the children’s confidence and trust, which they are all lacking in. Having increased their self-esteem, the children had the motivation and enthusiasm which enabled them to participate.”

It’s clear that Sina couldn’t be more delighted with Scotty’s effect on children across East Ayrshire:

“Every week I’ll hear a different story that warms my heart. He really is becoming the ‘FACE’ of East Ayrshire.”