South Lanarkshire View – Pioneering school mentoring programme launched

Published in the South Lanarkshire View

The school-based mentoring and talent development programme will help disadvantaged young people including those who are care experienced or on the edges of the care system, fulfil their potential.

At the core of MCR Pathways are 50-minute weekly mentoring sessions between a young person and their mentor, who listens and provides encouragement.

Initially, the MCR Pathways Programme will be delivered in six South Lanarkshire schools – Calderside Academy, Cathkin High School, Hamilton Grammar, St John Ogilvie High School, Stonelaw High School and Trinity High School. 

Lindsay Freeland, Chief Executive of South Lanarkshire Council, said: “Our vision is to improve the lives of everyone in South Lanarkshire, and much of our work is targeted towards those who most need our help.  While there are obvious benefits for the young people who receive mentoring it is clear that those who volunteer as mentors also get a great deal out of the experience. So this is a fantastic opportunity for our workforce, who are our greatest asset.”

Tony McDaid, South Lanarkshire Council’s Executive Director of Education, said “The MCR Pathways programme has proven results in helping bring greater stability to the lives young people who have too few adults in their lives they can look to for support. I believe it will also enrich the lives of our staff who volunteer.”

Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways, said: The partnership with the council is inspired and will make a huge difference to many young people. Mentors can make a life-changing difference to our most disadvantaged young people – at the same time mentors gain massively from the experience.

“We would be delighted to hear from local people who are interested in becoming a mentor.”

MCR Pathways was established in Glasgow in 2007 and has the backing of the Scottish Government and the local authorities where it operates. It currently supports almost 2,000 young people each week. The charity’s 2018 annual impact report revealed that the proportion of care-experienced young people enrolled in the programme leaving school and progressing to university, college or a job is 86% compared to 54% nationally.

For more information on the programme and how to become a mentor see the MCR Pathways website.

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