Glasgow Life and MCR Pathways today announce the next steps in an innovative new partnership to support disadvantaged young people aged 12-18 across Glasgow.
Building on the hugely successful MCR Pathways school-based mentoring programme, the partnership will see a brand new volunteering hub developed in the former Anderston Library building, at the very heart of Glasgow’s iconic Mitchell Library, in spring 2017.
Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Chair of Glasgow Life, said, “In Glasgow we are fortunate to have 33 libraries city-wide, one in every council ward and in today’s society these multi-purpose hubs have adapted to offer our citizens much more than access to books and reading materials.
“Glasgow’s libraries now support residents to engage with a wide range of cultural, social and economic services and I can think of no better home for this pioneering community–initiative, than inside one of Glasgow’s most iconic community-hub spaces. We look forward to welcoming MCR Pathway in to The Mitchell Library complex to create life-changing opportunities for the young people of our city.”
Founded in 2007 by social entrepreneur Iain MacRitchie MCR Pathways delivers Young Glasgow Talent, a schools-based mentoring programme to support those in or on the edges of the care system to realise their full potential through education.
MCR Pathways is a pioneering partnership of the MCR Foundation and Glasgow City Council and actively supported by an increasing number of Glasgow’s key organisations including Wheatley Group, The Herald, Glasgow Kelvin College, SECC, University of Strathclyde, Santander and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. All are committed to closing the attainment gap and a radical improvement in the outcomes for the young people.
Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways, said: “Across Glasgow, over 500 disadvantaged young people are being supported by Young Glasgow Talent programme. We want to ensure that every young person in Glasgow is given the opportunity of having a mentor and developing a new purpose-designed hub within The Mitchell Library is key to that growth.”
Working with Glasgow Life, MCR Pathways will utilise the power of mentoring to create life-changing opportunities for a further 500 young people in Glasgow, signposting them on to education and employment initiatives and empowering young Glaswegians city-wide to build a better future for themselves.
Mr MacRitchie added: "For us, moving into a permanent home in a publically accessible, landmark building will further strengthen our links with the Glasgow community, enabling us to engage with more mentors and support more young people like Ryan. We are very excited to be re-developing the Anderston Library reading room inside the Mitchell Library and look forward to working with Glasgow Life to provide new opportunities for young people.”
The partnership between Glasgow Life and MCR Pathways will ensure that Glaswegians will once again be able to access the former Anderston library reading rooms, closed to the public since 2014, as the organisations begin work to transform the space into a dedicated volunteering hub in the heart of the city.
Opened in 1904, the original Anderston Library building was demolished in 1969 to make way for the M8 development, with the collections made available to the public in the new Anderston branch library inside The Mitchell complex in 1984.
In 2011, the Anderston branch library space became home to Glasgow Women’s Library for three years, prior to their permanent move to the former Bridgeton Library. Since the departure of Glasgow Women’s Library, the Anderston Library reading room has been closed to the public with the collection amalgamated in to The Mitchell’s lending library.
With the re-fit taking place throughout winter 2016-17, the Anderson Library’s latest incarnation as an innovative volunteering hub is set to open formally to the public in spring 2017. The space, which will be designed alongside young people from the mentoring programme to ensure its longevity, will provide the volunteering programme with a much-needed city-centre headquarters to support more than 1000 registered mentors already on the MCR Foundation’s books.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer mentor, or would like to find out more about the MCR Pathways mentoring programme, please visit: www.youngglasgowtalent.org