AN INNOVATIVE schools mentoring programme supporting disadvantaged young people is to go Scotland-wide.

The move comes as MCR Pathways handed the reins over to its young people to tell their stories at its first national conference at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall yesterday.

They shared how the mentoring scheme works and now with support from the Deputy First Minister John Swinney it will accelerate its national expansion to reach another thousand in Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

Over the last 18 months MCR Pathways has doubled the number of young people it supports to more than 1,000. It operates in all 30 secondary schools within Glasgow City Council and recently launched in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

The charity is now working on a national plan, which will see its reach extend to other Scottish local authorities this year. The mentoring scheme was established 11 years ago by the Glaswegian businessman Iain MacRitchie and now has more than 600 mentors. He said: “Some of us have rosy memories of school, but for others high it represents dark times with uncertainty, feeling powerless and without anyone to rely on yet being asked to make adult decisions.”