Media release: Charity appeals for mentors in Aberdeenshire


MCR Pathways, the Scottish 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 per cent compared to 54 per cent 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.

For more information in becoming a mentor, visit or email


Issued by Headline PR on behalf of MCR Pathways. For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Jill Creighton on:  or 07775 862552 

Notes for editors:

MCR Pathways is a multi-award-winning mentoring programme, which helps Scotland’s most disadvantaged and care-experienced young people achieve the same educational outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as all other young people. Founded in Glasgow in 2007, MCR Pathways currently operates in all Glasgow secondary schools as well as schools in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh, North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, and West Dunbartonshire and currently supports 2,000 young people each week.

Over each of the last three years, MCR Pathways has doubled the number of young people it supports weekly and aims to be fully operational across at least 15 Local Authorities throughout Scotland in the next three years.

At the core of the MCR Programme are 50-minute weekly in-school mentoring sessions between a young person and their mentor, who listen and provide encouragement. Mentors come from all walks of life, and include company directors, taxi drivers, and Council staff. All commit to supporting a young person in school for a minimum of a year, ideally two. Mentors are trained and supported by MCR to listen, encourage and build positive relationships with their mentees. Age is also no barrier – there are as many mentors under-35 as over-65, and many are at the peak of their careers. Mentoring has proved to positively and profoundly impact the mentors as much as the young person.

External research shows that MCR mentoring has made a significant impact on young people’s confidence, belief and self-esteem as well as on school staying-on rates, attainment and progression to positive destinations – college, university, and employment. For example, in 2013/2014, 54 per cent of care-experienced young people nationally progressed to a positive destination, while in 2018, 86 per cent of MCR mentored care-experienced young people did. Mentoring is creating a wave of positive change, impacting Scotland’s schools, community, and country.

The success of the programme has been gathering nationwide acclaim. MCR Pathways has won multiple awards including Glasgow’s Inspiring City Education Award in 2019 and the UK-wide Leaving Care Award from Children and Young People Now. A report on MCR Pathways was included in The Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, a peer-reviewed, e-journal which provides a rich forum for debate and dissemination on the topical issues in residential childcare research, policy and practice.

The MCR Pathways Programme was set up by social entrepreneur, Iain MacRitchie, a Glaswegian, who previously advised over 100 businesses and acted as executive chairman/CEO of 18 different companies during his career. In 2007 Iain set up his charitable foundation and dedicated five years as a full-time volunteer to establish MCR Pathways nationally. Iain’s work in supporting the country’s most disadvantaged young people was recognised when he was awarded with Glasgow’s St Mungo Medal, The Lifetime Achievement Award in The Herald Diversity Awards 2019, and when he was named as one of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders worldwide by AACSB International, recognised as the world’s largest business education alliance.

The MCR Programme is actively supported by the local authorities in which it operates as well as the Scottish Government, Civil Service and Health & Social Care Partnerships, universities and colleges, employer bodies including Chambers of Commerce and Developing Young Workforce (DYW) teams and a growing number of key Scottish organisations including Edrington Group, JP Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group, STV, the Wheatley Group and The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

As well as one-to-one relationship focused mentoring, MCR Programme works with young people through group work and their Talent Taster Programme which introduces young people to work, Higher and Further Education, and Arts and Sports experiences.

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