SMN Parliamentary Reception Showcase Event: "Mentoring Works"

6 March 2019

SMN Parliamentary Reception Showcase Event:

Scottish Mentoring Network recently held a Parliamentary Reception, bringing together member projects and MSPs to provide an opportunity to share stories of the mentoring activity that is taking place across Scotland.  This event took place at the Scottish Parliament, in the Burns Room (Committee Room 1), from 6-8pm on the 26th of February 2019.

The member projects attending represented a cross section of mentoring models and for a wide range of client groups, from young people affected by homelessness to mentoring for business people.  The member projects in attendance were also from a wide range of locations across Scotland, which demonstrated the National reach of mentoring and the remit of Scottish Mentoring Network. 

Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin constituency, hosted the event and Anas Sarwar, Bill Kidd and Maree Todd MSP attended it. The member organisations invited were:

  • Aberlour Childcare Trust
  • Befriend a Child
  • Borders College
  • Care and Learning Alliance
  • Children 1st
  • Cyrenians
  • Local Energy Scotland
  • Growbiz
  • Move On
  • Tayside Council on Alcohol
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • Y Sort It

The invited strategic partners were Inspiring Scotland, Life Changes Trust, SSERC and YMCA Scotland. 

The agenda for the evening began with an introduction from Sandra White MSP who was the host for the event.  Allison Calder, Chair of Scottish Mentoring Network, gave an overview of SMN’s remit for ensuring that mentoring in Scotland is delivered to the highest possible standard and to demonstrate the impact of that quality.  Maureen Watson, newly appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Mentoring Network talked of her enthusiasm to lead SMN in what is an exciting and dynamic period for mentoring.  The guests then heard from Katya Allcott, SMN’s Administrator who gave an overview of the #MentoringWorks Campaign. 

The Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP, also spoke of her knowledge that mentoring is making it possible for children and young people to fulfil their potential and reach their dreams. 

The guests then heard mentoring stories from Demi Schorfield, a mentee and mentor with The Law Society of Scotland, and Georgia Gall from Tayside Council on Alcohol.   Their stories were powerful insights into the transformative power of mentoring and were delivered with passion by the two inspirational young women.

Throughout the event, highlights from the #MentoringWorks Campaign were on show to give an insight into the awareness raising which has been undertaken by SMN over the past months.  The #MentoringWorks Campaign displays mentoring stories from member organisations from the perspectives of staff, mentors and mentees, to highlight the importance and effectiveness of mentoring. Katya gave an overview of the campaign at the start of the evening, which encapsulated the purpose and effect of #MentoringWorks, highlighting the themes that emerged throughout it. 

The remainder of the event was a networking opportunity to bring member projects together with MSPs.  This allowed the MSPs in attendance to find out more about the work of the member projects and for the members to undertake regulated lobbying with the MSPs.  The member projects were encouraged to invite their constituency and region MSPs to the event, and Scottish Mentoring Network also extended invitations to all MSPs. 

The member projects fed back to the team at SMN that the event was an excellent opportunity for them for profile raising amongst members of parliament. They also felt that it was a useful occasion to connect with other members of Scottish Mentoring Network outside of their local or thematic networking opportunities.