In 2006, our research team based at the School of Education, University of Strathclyde began collaborating with Springburn Academy in Glasgow. The aim of this work was to try and establish interventions that would support young people from the school entering higher education and getting into some of the most competitive professions such as medicine and law. After initial research with the young people we decided to develop a mentoring project.
Young people are essentially offered the opportunity to engage in weekly one-to-one mentoring by receiving academic, social and personal support from a volunteer mentor as they prepare for their higher examinations and plan their future careers. A key dimension of the project has been to draw on the experience and knowledge of older adults and particularly retirees who form the majority of our mentors. The intergenerational focus of our mentoring project makes it unique to other mentoring projects in the area.
We are also supporting a similar mentoring project in Lancaster and other emergent projects in different areas of Scotland.
The project is based in the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde and delivered in partnership with Glasgow City Council. It is funded by the Big Lottery for three years.
Expanding our scope, the project now works with younger children and has a developed a primary school based project again drawing on intergenerational mentoring. ‘Help a Child Learn to Read’ has been successfully piloted and will now be developed in Knightswood Primary School in Glasgow.
Watch our short film for an introduction to the higher education strand of the project.