100 apply to mentor disadvantaged in Dundee BREAKTHROUGH programme

BREAKTHROUGH Dundee CEO Susan Duncan

A new £1 million Dundee mentoring scheme which aims to give a crucial boost to disadvantaged children received 100 applications to be mentors within its first week.

BREAKTHROUGH Dundee was launched last week and aims to develop and help the life chances of secondary school-aged young people who are vulnerable or have experienced care.

The applicants who derive from local companies and Dundee’s wider community will be matched appropriately to the young people and fully trained in order to support those who sign up to take part in the scheme.

Mentors will help to provide a 1:1 programme designed to improve pupils’ academic performance and to support them in achieving a positive destination after they leave school.

BREAKTHROUGH CEO Susan Duncan said: “Dundee’s young people follow all walks of life, so it makes perfect sense to recruit mentors from all walks of life too.

“No specialist skills are required to become a BREAKTHROUGH mentor, just a genuine desire to support and improve the lives of young people.

“If you can listen without judging and commit to weekly mentoring sessions during the school year, then you’ve got what it takes.

“Mentoring provides an opportunity for a young person to build a relationship with an adult who can offer them consistent support — the type of support that will see them leave school with qualifications that open doors to positive destinations and life changing opportunities.”

The scheme, which was inspired by the success of MCR Pathways, a similar programme in Glasgow, kicked off at Morgan Academy this month and will begin at a second school, St Paul’s RC Academy, in October.

It is intended that all eight of Dundee’s secondary schools will be involved in the programme by 2019, supporting up to 500 young people.

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