MCR Pathways was founded in 2007 to address the gap in life-chances and educational outcomes, between care-experienced young people and their peers. The MCR charity was established to support young people who have experienced disadvantage and help them realise their full potential through education. We do this through our school-based mentoring programme – matching young people with a fully-trained volunteer mentor.
Our journey began in St Andrew’s Secondary school, in the East End of Glasgow, where we developed the programme over 5 years. The evidence that MCR mentoring made a huge difference on young people’s confidence and engagement with school was soon overwhelming. The programme is now operating in multiple local authorities, nationwide.
Our vision is that every care-experienced young person, or those who have experienced disadvantage, get the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as every other young person.
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MCR mentoring transforms lives. In the most recently published research, conducted by ScotCen, the 2020 Evaluation Report tells us that 81.6% of mentored care-experienced pupils progressed to a positive destination after school (for MCR a ‘positive destination’ refers to only full-time employment, further or higher education). That figure is compared with 56.3% of young people who were not mentored.
The three-year study reported that MCR Pathways’ relationship-based mentoring is transforming educational outcomes and post-school destinations. In addition, the study identified quantifiable benefits in building confidence, aspirations and social skills.
Mentoring matters to us as there is amazing potential in our young people, potential that’s often buried by challenges of life outside of school. By spending just one hour a week listening and being there for a young person, a mentor will empower a young person to unlock their potential.
Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing real stories from our young people before, and after mentoring. It would be easy to stop reading. It would be even easier to have never started and to ignore the challenges our young people face. It’s easy to ignore that just an hour of your time a week could turn a young person’s life around.
But every day we hear from the young people we help and the positive impact mentoring has had on their life. We also hear from our mentors who tell us that despite the challenge, it’s worth it. These stories are why we’re so passionate about what we do, and why you should be too.
It is our ambition to bring mentoring to all young people who would benefit from this vital support and offer them a mentor who is there, just for them. In 2021, new funding was announced by the Scottish Government, and the Tom Hunter Foundation, that allows us to create a national mentoring network across the country. We are working hard to focus support for young people in local communities that is tailored to the individual needs of each area.
We launched in England in 2021 and are operating across schools in Hertfordshire and Surrey. Read more about MCR Pathways in England here.
MCR has a long term goal to become “business as usual” in the nation’s education system when supporting young people. Mentoring is creating a wave of positive change, impacting our schools, community and country.