Vulnerable pupils receive extra support with mentor programme

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter

Published by the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter

OUR Lady and St Patrick’s High School pupils who are most vulnerable to being left behind in their education are continuing to receive vital support during lockdown.

Although schools are closed across the country, West Dunbartonshire Council and MCR Pathways are continuing to work together to remotely support groups of young people at the Dumbarton secondary.

A mentoring and talent development programme helps disadvantaged young people, including those who are care-experienced or on the edges of the care system, to build aspirations and realise their potential.

More than 55 volunteer mentors in West Dunbartonshire have been matched with youngsters in the area and will resume weekly meetings when schools return later this year.

MCR’s Pathway coordinators have been continuing to nurture the vital relationships between young people and their mentors via email and virtual meetings.

Young people in the programme who do not have access to computers or internet will also be eligible to access equipment as part of an MCR initiative, funded by the Scottish Government and JP Morgan.

Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said: “Since the start of the lockdown our team has worked tirelessly to maintain support for our young people.

“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.

“We will also be looking for more mentors in the West Dunbartonshire area over the coming months. This is an opportunity for anyone with just one hour per week to spare to help local young people fulfil their potential.”

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