Former Standard Life Aberdeen comms chief to lead MCR Pathways

Published by Insider.co.uk

Written by Hamish Burns

Graeme McEwan appointed CEO of charity mentoring vulnerable young people across Scotland

Former Standard Life Aberdeen communications boss Graeme McEwan has been appointed as chief executive of mentoring charity MCR Pathways.

He takes over as the organisation’s founder Iain MacRitchie becomes chairman.

MacRitchie said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Graeme as our CEO for the next stage of our plan to reach every care experienced and disadvantaged young person across the country.

“The benefits on both attainment and wellbeing from that special one-to-one MCR mentor relationship are profound, not just for the young people but also for the mentor and their employer. We will soon publish research findings on significant social and economic impacts, much needed as we emerge from the pandemic.”

MCR Pathways also announced it is to operate in 75 secondary schools across 12 local authority areas, with plans to expand further. By the end of the school year, it will provide weekly support to more than 4,000 of the country’s most disadvantaged young people.

The charity is working with local and national Government on ways to embed the MCR model in the education system. Glasgow City Council has already made the commitment.

MacRitchie added: “The partnership with our schools and local authorities is exceptional and Graeme’s extensive management and leadership experience, combined with his passion to help our young people, will ensure relationships continue to grow and flourish. Graeme has been working with us since February and has already made a big difference in the toughest of times for our young people.

“2020 has been a hugely challenging year and as evidenced in the results of our recent survey, our most disadvantaged have been disproportionality and unfairly impacted. The MCR Pathways team is even more determined to ensure young people are determined by their amazing talent and potential and never their circumstances. This is the first of a series of planned steps to embed the MCR model as a permanent and publicly owned part of the education system.” 

McEwan was chief communications officer at Standard Life Aberdeen, where he managed the global Corporate Affairs function, until June 2019. He is a Board Member of Developing the Young Workforce, the Scottish Government’s youth employability strategy and is vice chair of the Standard Life Foundation, an independent charity that helps low income families.

He said: “I was attracted to MCR because of its unique approach and effectiveness in addressing long-standing issues that limit our most disadvantaged young people. Its partnership model with schools and local authorities means that support is directed to those most in need and is combined seamlessly with education provision.

“The impact of the MCR Pathways programme on improving attainment levels and positive destinations for young people is outstanding and independently assessed by one of Britain’s leading social research institutes. The true transformation for me, however, comes in boosting the confidence, self-esteem and belief of young people who are encouraged to be the best that they can be in life. I am passionate about using my experience and connections to push ahead the work which has already begun on reaching more young people in Scotland.

“MCR’s recent survey from over 1,000 young people on their experience of lockdown shows the growing need to build a fairer, more productive and inclusive society. This is such an exciting time to join this inspiring and dedicated team.”

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