Our Trustees & Funders

Our Trustees are integral to the development and success of the programme. Our funders are helping to provide the essential resources to bridge the gap between potentials and futures.

MCR Trustees

MCR’s Board of Trustees set the strategic direction of the organisation and ensure we are focusing on the right things. Each member of the board brings a wealth of experience and wide-ranging skills, along with a passionate interest in overseeing the successful growth of the programme to help reach and engage more young people.

Dr Michael Little

Michael is Director of Ratio a decade long inquiry into the way relationships influence health and development. He was previously Director of the Dartington Social Research Unit where he helped governments, foundations and public systems to apply high quality evidence to policy and practice for children.
Michael also led studies at the University of Chicago to better understand effective educational responses to children in poverty. He has held professorial positions at the universities of Bath, Chicago and Exeter and is author of over 200 books, articles and papers. But it is the application of evidence to policy that has been the hallmark of his work including: drawing together evidence to frame U.K. child protection policy; facilitating and then managing a decade long reform of children’s policy and services in Ireland; and contributing to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations work to halve preventable deaths of children around the world. His work has been widely used by innovators to scale impact on child outcomes.

Anne Longfield CBE

Anne has spent the last three decades working to improve the life chances of children, particularly the most vulnerable. From 2015 to 2021, she was Children’s Commissioner for England.

She previously led a national children’s charity and has also worked on the delivery of the Sure Start programme in the Cabinet Office. Anne is a passionate champion for children, influencing and shaping the national debate and policy agenda for children and their families. She spent many years campaigning for better childcare, often at a time when many saw the issue as obscure or niche. As Children’s Commissioner, Anne spent six years championing the rights and interests of children with those in power who make decisions about children’s lives, acting as children’s ‘eyes and ears’ in the corridors of power in Whitehall and Westminster.Anne is also the Independent Chair of the NHS Children and Young People Learning Disability and Autism Board.

Dr Iain MacRitchie

Iain’s career has taken him internationally in the transformation of 18 organisations and a trusted adviser to over 100 others. However, it was an experience in taking the leadership role of 3 failing residential care and schools’ organisations that created MCR Pathways. 

Iain founded MCR Pathways in 2007 and has led the development of the transformational MCR mentoring and talent development programme from supporting its first young person to now over 3,000 each week. Iain’s work in supporting the country’s most disadvantaged young people has been recognised by a number of awards including Glasgow’s St Mungo Medal, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Diversity, honorary doctorate and other national and international leadership awards. He became visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde in 2020.

Rt Hon Lord McConnell

Lord Jack McConnell was First Minister of Scotland between 2001 and 2007, and Scotland’s Minister for Education, Europe and External Affairs, and Minister for Finance previous to that. He served as UK Special Representative for Peacebuilding, 2008-2010, and joined the UK House of Lords in 2010, where he founded and Chairs the All-Party Group on the UN Global Goals.

Jack has a lifetime of working to guarantee equal access to education for the vulnerable young people both in the UK and abroad. As a mathematics teacher, Jack had first-hand experience of the issues facing young people overcoming difficult personal circumstances and has used this to campaign for better systems of educational and social support. As Chair of the McConnell International Foundation, Jack supports education, good governance and skills development programmes in Scotland and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, he is an active peacebuilder and mediator. He is President of Scottish Athletics and has been Vice-President of UNICEF UK since 2015; and in 2019 he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Stirling.

Maureen McKenna OBE

Maureen is currently Executive Director of Education in Glasgow City Council. She has been in this role for 14 years and prior to that was one of Scotland’s HM Inspectors of Education. In her time at Glasgow City Council, the city set itself the ambition to be a Nurturing City. Outcomes for children and young people have been transformed. Exclusions have reduced by over 90% and attainment has notably increased.

Maureen is passionate about education. She has participated in a number of government working groups, including chairing a group which published Making Maths Count. In 2015, she received an OBE for services to education in Glasgow and Malawi. In 2021, she received an honorary doctorate from Heriot Watt University for the impact of her work improving outcomes for children and young people experiencing disadvantage.

Nick Walters

Nick is one of the original trustees of MCR Pathways having been involved since its inception. Nick has spent the past 25 years working on a variety of business transformations including a group of companies offering care, education and fostering services for young people. In recent years much of his time has been spent raising funds both from public markets (AIM) and private investors.

Nick has significant experience of financial procedures and controls and offers financial oversight to Pathways’ activities. In particular his experience in overseeing the rapid growth of businesses, both domestically and internationally, without them overreaching the limits of their resources, will be important as Pathways expands in the coming years. Nick is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

MCR Funders

We would like to thank our funders who play an essential role in the development and future of MCR Pathways. Through their support, we are able to continue to develop the programme and reach more young people as we grow across the country.

Our Programme & Partnerships

Each school, in which we operate, has a dedicated Pathways Coordinator supporting young people and their mentors every week. Our Programme Managers work closely with each coordinator, the schools and the local authority links, as well as local partners who help ensure the success of the programme. Meanwhile, our mentor services team provides volunteers with full training and support.

Young people are supported by the programme from P7/Year 6 transition through to leaving school and beyond. The team are continually developing partnerships with local colleges, universities, employers and enterprises to engage young people in experiencing and considering their post-school pathways.

Working behind the scenes are the operational teams who establish and nurture partnerships, build awareness of the programme, deliver and maintain all systems and provide platforms including our Mentor and Young Person hubs.

Find out about careers at MCR Pathways

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