Published in the Evening Times
A GLASGOW mentoring programme for disadvantaged young people is in the running for a national award.
MCR Pathways has been shortlisted for the Charity Awards 2019, the most prestigious awards scheme in the sector.
The programme, set up by city businessman Iain MacRitchie 12 years ago, is a finalist in the Education and Training Category for its work creating career opportunities and life chances for care-experienced young people.
MCR Pathways recruits, trains and matches volunteer mentors with young people. Mentors meet their young person for one hour a week, building a relationship and providing support.
The charity now operates in a number of schools across Scotland, supporting around 2000 young people each week.
Recently MCR Pathways launched a new campaign to help 1000 young people reach their potential.
At the launch of the Ripple Effect campaign Iain MacRitchie 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.”
He added: “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.
“Before mentoring, only 54 percent of care-experienced young people left school to college, university or a job – now 86 percent 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.”
Mentors are all ages and come from all professions, including company directors, taxi drivers, and council staff.
Over each of the last three years, MCR Pathways has doubled the number of young people it supports each week.
The winners in this year’s Charity Awards will be announced at a black-tie dinner on June 5, held in the grounds of the Tower of London.
The evening will be hosted by the Rev Richard Coles, who will be joined on the night by a host of celebrities, representatives of the shortlisted charities, as well as leaders from Britain’s best known and best loved charities.
Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated MCR Pathways and added: “Once again we received a record number of entries to the Charity Awards, and the breadth and quality of the work being done by charities across the sector continues to astonish.”
He added: “MCR Pathways should be very proud to have made the shortlist.”