Reflecting on National Expansion of MCR, Groundbreaking Mentoring Programme

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MCR Pathways doubles number of supported young people each year since 2016 and expects to double again in 2018 through National Expansion

In 2007, at one East End Glasgow school, a group of people took a chance on an idea. They were trying to solve a daunting problem. At St. Andrews Secondary, only 4% of care-experienced young people stayed on past age 16. Only 31% progressed to positive destinations upon leaving school. We found passionate young people when we spoke to these pupils- not statistics. Circumstances have made education attainment more challenging for them. Because of that, they needed support to succeed. After trial and error, we found that a simple formula of one-on-one, weekly mentoring had a profound impact. The talent, the motivation, and the resilience were all there. By committing ourselves to these young people, we could help unlock their potential and change lives forever.

Now 10 years on, MCR Pathways’ groundbreaking school based mentoring programme supports more than 1000 disadvantaged young people in or on the edges of the care system. We’ve grown from one school to all Glasgow secondary schools. Intuitively, we knew from the beginning that these youngsters were just as talented as all other young people.We now have the numbers that prove this. Where previously only 48.8% of care-experienced Glaswegian pupils went on to a positive destination – full time employment, college or university – now an astounding 81% of mentored pupils do.

“Before I first got a mentor, I didn’t feel there was anywhere I felt listened to. By having a mentor there I actually had someone there to listen.” Callum, Lochend Community High School


National Expansion in 2018

Once we knew that mentoring worked it was clear that Glasgow was just the beginning. Our vision is that all disadvantaged Scottish young people get the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as any other. We are therefore delighted to announce the news that we are expanding nationally. The next few months will see our progression into new schools in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City. Throughout 2018, we hope to reach a further 5 local authorities, allowing MCR Pathways to support over 2,000 young people in our most challenged areas.

“My mentor’s been a driving force, she forged an ambition in me simply through the conversations that we had.” Michael, Lochend Community High School

Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways,

“For these young people, relationships and role models matter. It’s simple. By devoting 50 minutes a week to listen, build a trusting relationship and help a young person to find their talent, people can make a life-changing difference. All people have to do is give an hour and they can change a life.

As the Year of the Young Person begins, it’s more important now than ever that we ensure disadvantaged young people define themselves by potential and talent and never their circumstances.”


Thank You!

Thank you to everyone – our staff, our partners, organisations and especially our mentors. You’re making a life changing difference. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without your commitment. But our biggest thanks goes to our young people. You are the future, thank you for believing in yourselves and doing the hard work to reach your full potential. We are here for you, in Glasgow, Aberdeen and soon all of Scotland.

Can you join us, #GiveAnHour and make a profound difference in the life of a young person? Become a mentor!

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