Catch up on this month's activity on the Scottish Mentoring Network website. Click the headlines to read more...
SMN Board Vacancies 27 January
Wonder Women TV is thrilled to announce the launch of an inspirational, yearlong mentoring programme to empower the next generation of diverse leaders with structured mentoring.
The 17 candidates will take part in monthly 1-2-1 mentoring sessions delivered by some of most successful women in British Television and master classes taught entirely online by industry professionals to support their on-going development. This exciting programme which aims to empower and elevate the next generation of diverse leaders into senior leadership roles in the TV sector and Creative Arts, is part of an industry-wide initiative to improve diversity.
Mentoring Programme Director & TV Presenter, Ria Hebden comments: “Women need champions in the workplace now more than ever. The pandemic has hit the Television industry and the Creative Arts significantly and we know that women have been affected disproportionately so I’m delighted that we’re able to offer such a diverse range of candidates, this brilliant opportunity to learn from such incredible women in these challenging times. 20 January
UK Athletics (UKA) has announced the launch of a number of key activities as part of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) programme.
The governing body for Athletics in the UK has set out plans to create a new mentoring programme, as well as offering inclusion workshops and publishing its Diversity Action Plan (DAP) to build on its ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ programme, which was launched following the murder of George Floyd, and brings diverse voices together to inform and advise UKA.
The DAP, which will run from 2021 to 2024, is set to form an integral part of UKA’s overall vision for the sport to be the ‘most diverse, safe, popular and inclusive’ sport in the UK, and will also specifically outline actions around engagement; recruitment and retention; and progressing talent from within.
In January, UKA says it will launch a new 12-month mentoring programme that builds on a previous collaboration with the ECB, and will see UKA sharing its expertise and learning with another, yet-to-be-announced, governing body. 20 January
Perth & Kinross Council and award-winning charity MCR Pathways have joined forces to provide a life-changing mentoring programme to three schools – Blairgowrie High School, Perth Grammar school and St John’s RC Academy.
MCR Pathways was commissioned by the Council’s Education and Children’s Services to support young people who are care-experienced or have experienced disadvantage with the Young Perth & Kinross Talent programme. Young people are matched with a volunteer mentor to help them build confidence, overcome challenges and embark on a positive future.
Perth & Kinross Council Lifelong Learning Convener, Councillor Caroline Shiers said:
“As a Council we have already been looking to provide additional support to care-experienced and otherwise disadvantaged young people so they can achieve to their fullest potential in life. This partnership with MCR Pathways takes that process a step further by linking mentors with young people for weekly individual contact.
At a time when lockdown has had a massive impact on us all, and particularly young people, having someone ready to listen and encourage is extremely valuable. I hope residents in Perth and Kinross – who have shown their willingness to volunteer to benefit others in their communities in so many ways during 2020 – will be equally keen to make a difference for young people in 2021.”
John Swinney Deputy First Minister, Education Secretary and MSP for Perthshire North said: “It is crucial that young people in or on the edge of the care system are given every opportunity to succeed in life.
“To that end, I am delighted that MCR Pathways will be introducing their mentoring programme to three schools in my constituency.
“MCR Pathways will help ensure that potentially vulnerable young people are given the necessary support to move forward with their lives in a positive manner. The impacts of mentoring are well documented and profound – building confidence, expanding skill sets and creating opportunities for those who take part.
“I am sure that this is only the start of a hugely positive collaboration between MCR Pathways and schools across Perth and Kinross. I look forward to seeing the impact that their work will have in the months and years ahead, and I am sure that this news will be welcomed by parents, pupils and teachers alike.”
Graeme McEwan, CEO of MCR Pathways, said:“We are absolutely delighted to be working with Perth & Kinross Council and we are already looking for mentors to make a difference at Blairgowrie High School, Perth Grammar school and St John’s RC Academy. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; anyone can be a mentor, they just need an hour a week and the desire to make a difference. We’d also love to hear from local employers who would like to support staff to get involved. Mentors and their employers gain massively from the experience for relatively little time commitment.”
“Our partnership with the local authority will make a huge difference to so many young people, directing vital support to those who need it most. MCR mentoring is making a statistically significant impact on educational outcomes for Scotland’s young people, many of whom are now even more at risk to a widening attainment gap since the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
At the core of MCR’s model are weekly mentoring sessions between a young person and their mentor, who commits an hour of their time to meet in school each week. Mentors are fully trained and give their time to listen and encourage a young person.
Right now MCR Pathways is looking for the first 100 volunteer mentors to get involved and help reach young people across Perth & Kinross 18 January
YMCA Scotland, in partnership with YMCA England & Wales and YMCA Ireland, has been chosen as one of 12 recipients of the Tampon Tax Fund.
The Fund allocates money generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls and is managed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
YMCA was awarded £1,000,861.00 to deliver the Y’s Girls Mentoring programme through YMCAs across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Y’s Girls Mentoring will identify young people at risk of developing mild to moderate mental health issues and match them with a trained community-based volunteer mentor.
The programme is based on YMCA Scotland’s existing successful PlusOne Mentoring programme, focussing on improving mental wellbeing in at-risk girls between eight to fourteen years of age.
Responding to the funding announcement, Kerry Reilly, Chief Executive of YMCA Scotland said:
“We are hugely grateful to have been selected as one of the recipients of the Tampon Tax Fund, the vital means from which will enable us to deliver our Y’s Girls mentoring programme.
“Through a partnership referral network of social workers, schools and the police, Y’s Girls will connect vulnerable young girls aged 8 to 14 with mentors from a range of social and geographical backgrounds. The programme aims to establish 250 mentoring relationships across 10 YMCAs across the UK over a 19-month period from December 2020 until the summer of 2022.
“We know that mental health issues among this age range are rising dramatically, and on top of that consistent and damaging cuts to youth services have left many young people isolated and without essential support.
“Funding from the Tampon Tax Fund provides a much-needed bridge within our youth work, helping to reach young women and girls in their time of need.”
Photo credit: YMCA Scotland
Since the start of the pandemic, Move On's FareShare Glasgow and the West of Scotland project has distributed 2,100 tonnes of food - the equivilent of 5 million meal portions - to vulnerable people since the start of restrictions in March last year. Move On commented in a recent blog post about the milestone:
"Through our network of charities and community groups across Glasgow and the West of Scotland, we estimate approximately 78,000 people now access food from our warehouse every single week.
We want to say an enormous thank you to our network of Community Food Members and our brilliant team of hardworking volunteers – without your support, we simply couldn’t help as many people as we do."
Move On runs mentoring programmes in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but also a wood recycling social enterprise.
You can watch their new video about reaching this milestone here: 13 January
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