Dumbarton pupils to receive crucial mentoring

Published in Dunbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter

Pupils at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton are to receive one-to-one support to help them reach their full potential.

Mentors will team up with disadvantaged youngsters in the care system to offer vital support with their education and personal development.

West Dunbartonshire Council and the charity MCR Pathways have joined forces to launch the Young Dunbartonshire Talent Programme. Initially the Pathways programme will be delivered in Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School and Clydebank High School.

At the core of the programme are 50-minute weekly mentoring sessions between a young person and their mentor, who listen and provide encouragement.

The West Dunbartonshire launch is the latest leg of MCR Pathways’ national roll out, which will see it reach 3,000 of Scotland’s most disadvantaged young people.

The council’s convener of education, Councillor Karen Conaghan, said: 

“West Dunbartonshire Council is pleased to work in partnership with MCR Pathways to offer disadvantaged pupils one to one support to help them flourish not only at school and through their education. “This mentoring could also help them in their personal lives. We have many talented young people in our schools and we want to ensure all children are given every chance to succeed and reach their full potential.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Education, said: “This new mentoring programme will be welcomed at schools by both pupils and teachers.

“As a council we are committed to offer any additional support to ensure our pupils can excel in their education regardless of their circumstances.”

Laura Mason, chief educational officer, said: 

“I am pleased to welcome MCR Pathways to our schools and I’m sure both our pupils and teachers will benefit from the school-based mentoring programme. We are committed to ensuring all our pupils are given the support, encouragement and skills to progress well through school and on to higher education or training.”

Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be launching our Young Dunbartonshire Talent Programme and to be working with schools in the area.

“The partnership with the council is inspired and will make a huge difference to so many young people. Our team are already working hard and very committed to help every young person on the programme to be determined by their talent and never their circumstances.

“We have already seen in other Local Authorities across Scotland that mentors can make a life-changing difference to our most disadvantaged young people. At the same time they gain massively from the experience.

“We would be delighted to hear from local people who are interested in becoming a mentor. The Programme has a proven to be a positive, and transformational experience for both young people and their mentors.”

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