Originally published in the The Herald
THE pioneering Scots mentoring charity MCR Pathways has launched a new campaign to help 1000 more disadvantaged young people reach their potential in life in the next year-and-a-half.
Founded in Glasgow in 2007, the award-winning charity currently supports almost 2000 young people across Scotland in or on the edges of the care system through a model of weekly one-to-one mentoring.
It has recruited 1000 mentors and has already expanded into a number of schools in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire , North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Edinburgh and West Dunbartonshire.
Now MCR Pathways has unveiled its Ripple Effect campaign designed to double the number of volunteer mentors to help even more disadvantaged and care-experienced young people over the next 18 months.
Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said:
“We have already seen in Glasgow, and 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.
It might sound like a small thing, but that positive relationship changes everything. Our schools, communities and organisations too, all see the difference and feel the impact in the next generation.
“The stats don’t lie – before mentoring, only 54% of care-experienced young people left school to college, university or a job – now 86% of mentored young people do.
We would be delighted to hear from people across Scotland 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.”
Over each of the last three years, MCR Pathways has doubled the number of young people it supports each week.
At the core of the MCR Programme are 50-minute weekly sessions between a young person and their mentor, who listen and provide encouragement.
It currently operates it’s Young Scottish Talent programme in all secondary schools in Glasgow and schools in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.
In 2018, MCR began their national expansion with an ambition to reach the country’s most disadvantaged young people and be fully operational across at least 15 local authorities in the next three years.
In November, MCR Pathways was named as the winner of the Leaving Care category in the 2018 Children & Young People Now (CYP Now) Awards, held in London.