Hunter Foundation commits £7.5m to support educational and economic recovery

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Written by Peter A Walker

Sir Tom Hunter has announced a £7.5m investment in partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver an overall funding package of £26.9m for a Scottish Mentoring and Leadership programme.

MCR Pathways charity will roll out its Young Scottish Talent mentoring programme and social enterprise Columba 1400 will expand its Leadership Academies for Young People, working in partnership to improve education outcomes and career opportunities.

A network of volunteer mentors – drawn from business, civic society and the wider public – will offer tailored support to young people through schools as lockdown eases.

Sir Tom Hunter, founder of the Hunter Foundation, said: 

“The impact of Covid-19 on our young people has been devastating and we now need – with focus, care and speed – to support them in moving to positive destinations using proven models of support.

“Thankfully we have those models of support in MCR Pathways and Columba 1400 and by combining their skills and support and joining that support up seamlessly with the likes of Developing the Young Workforce and Skills Development Scotland we believe we can make a massive difference to the young people this programme will support.

“We must work collectively by building on the sum of the parts and dynamically with the customer at the front and centre of this programme in partnership with schools and local authorities alike.”

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “I very much welcome this commitment from The Hunter Foundation to support our young people through mentoring and leadership, a programme that will play a vital role in supporting up to 15,000 young people reach their full potential.”

Graeme McEwan, chief executive and mentor at MCR Pathways, said: 

“This is a significant and ground-breaking investment in the future of young people across the country and we are delighted by the opportunities it offers to improve the lives of those who need our support most.

“All young people, no matter their background or circumstances, deserve the right to reach their full potential.”

The programme will be delivered in partnership with local authorities that wish to participate and will be part of the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee.

Click here for more information on becoming an MCR Pathways mentor.

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