MCR Pathways mentoring programme working to keep Clacks students connected through lockdown

AN INNOVATIVE school mentoring programme continues to support young people in the Wee County during the coronavirus lockdown.

MCR Pathways, in partnership with Clackmannanshire Council, has been working closely with schools to remotely support groups of young people.

As part of the initiative, young people who do not have access to technology during this time are eligible to access equipment and the internet.

Graeme McEwan, former Lornshill Academy pupil and director for Scotland at MCR Pathways, said: “Our team has worked tirelessly to maintain support for our young people since lockdown.

“With schools to remain closed until after the summer, we needed to act now to prevent young people from feeling isolated and disconnected.

“We are delighted to have secured funding from the Scottish Government and JP Morgan to enable us to help.”

As part of the Young Clackmannanshire Talent Programme, the mentoring and talent development initiative works with care-experienced young people and those on the edges of the care system to build aspirations and realise potential.

MCR Pathways linked up with the local authority last autumn, since then volunteer mentors have been matched with Wee County young people and will meet weekly when schools return after the summer.

However, those looking to help out and get involved will have the chance to join the team.

Graeme added: “We will also be looking for mentors in Clackmannanshire in the coming months and we would be delighted to hear from anyone interested.

“This is an opportunity for anyone with just one hour per week to spare to help local young people fulfil their potential.”

MCR co-ordinators are engaging with pupils from the three local secondary schools via telephone and email while restrictions remain in place.

Councillor Graham Lindsay, spokesman for education at the local authority, added: “The partnership with MCR Pathways is absolutely vital to ensure our most vulnerable young people are not disadvantaged in their educational experience and career opportunities, particularly at this current time.

“I was looking forward to seeing the programme officially get underway in August; however, I am delighted to see critical work already underway to reach out to those isolated by the current ‘lockdown’ restrictions.

“I would really encourage people to consider becoming mentors within a programme that will improve the life chances of our young people.”

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