Glasgow City Council this week announced a commitment to attract at least 10% of its workforce to volunteer in a pioneering mentoring programme.
The Robertson Trust is one of the funders partnering with the council and MCR Pathways for one of Scotland's biggest Public Social Partnerships (PSPs) agreements, which aims to widen opportunities for Glasgow’s most disadvantaged young people by offering a school-based mentoring and employability programme.
The council volunteers will become trusted confidantes and personal mentors to the city’s most vulnerable and care experienced children and young people.
With the potential to set a precedent across the country, the move could see almost 1800 council employees directly improving the life chances of Glasgow’s young people – guiding, supporting and helping them achieve their ambitions and aspirations.
The programme is now firmly established in 15 city secondary schools, delivering some incredible results and having a major impact supporting hundreds of Glasgow young people on a daily basis.
In 2015/16 the return to school rate for S5 mentored young people across six schools was 87% compared to non-mentored at 31% and in 2015, 73% of mentored school leavers went onto further or higher education and employment compared to the national average of 51%.
The over-riding aim is to help raise the attainment and aspirations of thousands of Glasgow’s young people, many of whom may not have a steady influence in their lives. The programme nurtures their talents with mentoring support from volunteers from all walks of life who are helping pupils achieve better grades and improve their career prospects.
The target is to have 1000 active mentors in place across Glasgow’s secondary schools by December 2018.
Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways and the most recent winner of the St Mungo Prize, said: “This profound commitment by the Council really is a national and perhaps international first and major precedent. It is truly pioneering in every way and gives us a fantastic opportunity to provide every disadvantaged young person with the 1:1 relationship based support they need to flourish through school. It is hugely humbling and very motivating to see People Making Glasgow at this scale. It’s not volunteering, it is just our great city taking care of our own.
“An hour a week is all it takes to help transform the outcomes for a young person. We are seeing some incredible transformations with the most simple and focused form of mentoring. Relationship based mentoring matters and every one can."