MCR Pathways, Scotland’s pioneering mentoring charity, has appealed for new volunteer mentors to be an inspiring influence in the lives of young people in Banff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
MCR Pathways began working in partnership with the local authority in 2018 to reach the young people of Aberdeenshire. They are now looking to find a further 120 mentors for the schools in these areas, to help talented young people throughout Aberdeenshire realise their true potential with the help of a mentor.
Volunteers will be asked to commit just one hour a week for a minimum of one year. The only requirement is that volunteers care, listen, provide encouragement and help a young person realise what they can achieve by empowering them with confidence and self-belief.
All volunteer mentors will be trained locally, before being matched with a young person at a local school, who has enrolled in the programme to receive the one-to-one support and inspiration that mentoring offers. The matches will be based on sharing common interests or having similar personalities. Not only will volunteers get the satisfaction of helping someone to believe in themselves and find their talents, but they can also build a bond which lasts a lifetime.
Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said: “We are delighted the programme is up and running in Banff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead Academies and hope to recruit 120 more mentors in these areas this year. We would be delighted to hear from local people who might be able to give just one hour per week.
“Our mentoring programme is well established and has proven to be a positive, and transformational experience for both young people and their mentors, who come from all walks of life.
“At its core, MCR Pathways is based on a simple premise – mentors sign up to devote 50 minutes a week to listen, build a trusting relationship and help a young person to find their talent and realise their potential.
“Our programme is making a huge difference to so many young people throughout Scotland whose future will be determined by their talent and not by their circumstances.”
Barry Donaldson, Schools Programme Manager for Aberdeenshire manages the development and integration of the programme. He says: “Mentoring in Aberdeenshire has already made a big impact to our young people, which is both inspiring and rewarding. However, we would specifically like to hear from any local people in Banff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead, and outlying areas, who are looking to give something back to their local community and take part in a truly life-changing programme.”
MCR Pathways was established in 2007 and has the backing of the Scottish Government and the local authorities in which it operates. It currently supports over 2,000 young people each week. The charity’s 2018 annual impact report revealed that the number 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.
MCR Pathways’ vision is that every young person in Scotland gets the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances, despite the challenges that some young people face.