One of the biggest Public Social Partnership (PSP) agreements has been signed between Glasgow City Council and MCR Pathways to help raise the attainment and aspirations of thousands of Glasgow's young people.
The new PSP will build on the partnership that the council has developed with the MCR Pathways charity over the last few years and will be extended and formalised to include The Robertson Trust, STV Appeal and the Life Changes Trust.
MCR Pathways has been running a school-based mentoring and employability programme for care experienced young people across several schools in the east end of Glasgow, with impressive results. This new social partnership secures the mentoring initiative's long-term future, and the plan is to roll the programme out to all of the city's 30 secondary schools over the next three years.
As Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council explains: "All our young people deserve the very best we can offer, regardless of their personal circumstances or background.
"This project is not a one-off, but a long term commitment for Glasgow.
"The mentoring project is making an incredible difference to the lives of some of our most disadvantaged young people. In conjunction with other council initiatives, it is helping to close the attainment gap in Glasgow and tackle some of our well documented social challenges.
"So why would we not offer this opportunity to all young people across the city who might not have a steady influence in their lives?
"This new Public and Social Partnership will mean that mentoring - using people from all walks of life to help our children - will be embedded in our schools across the city.
"With almost £4million in funding over the next three years to roll-out the project and fund school-based Pathway co-ordinators to support the young people and their mentors, this is a large commitment from all of the partners and funders who have a common goal - to raise the attainment, aspirations and the life chances of these young people."
Iain MacRitchie, MCR Pathways founder and Chairman is passionate about the project and said: "Glasgow has been pioneering throughout its proud history and there is no doubt People Make Glasgow. It is fantastic to be leading a project that combines both to support our most disadvantaged young people to be all they can be.
"The team and partners we are building is inspired and with the long-term commitment represented in this Agreement, we will impact many generations to come. Glasgow is demonstrating in action that it really is a nurturing city that takes care of its own and creates the opportunity for all young people to find, grow and use their talents."
As well as recruiting a large number of high quality, individual mentors as part of the project, a Talent Taster programme has also been developed to work in tandem and offering a wide variety of work experience opportunities from city employers, higher and further education establishments and meeting the individual needs of the young people.
Harriet Dempster, Chair of the Life Changes Trust care experienced young people programme said: "The Life Changes Trust is passionate about improving the educational outcomes for care experienced young people in Scotland as a means of boosting their life chances. We believe the MCR Pathways Programme offers a unique opportunity for young people facing disadvantage to overcome barriers and achieve their true potential. We are delighted to be providing funding support and working in partnership with others on this exciting venture."
Dame Barbara Kelly, CBE Chairman of The Robertson Trust said: 'We are delighted to be involved in this pioneering project which we believe will transform the educational outcomes and life chances for disadvantaged young people in Glasgow.
"The Robertson Trust is committed to reducing the attainment gap for Scotland's young people by ensuring that disadvantage, which is not a choice, does not prevent someone from realising their potential. Partnerships are key to this, and as well as benefitting Glasgow's young people, we hope this project will be a national exemplar for partnership working between the Third Sector and local authorities."
Elizabeth Partyka, of STV Children's Appeal said: "We are focused on supporting localised, creative services across the country and the long term ambitions of MCR Pathways in Glasgow, a city with significant levels of child poverty, truly resonate with the aims of the STV Children's Appeal. This project offers the potential to make a real difference to the life chances available to our young people and the STV Children's Appeal is committed to contributing to its success."