Meet our very own Maureen McGuinness, from HM Passport Office in Glasgow where as an Operational Excellence Coach where she coaches staff through Organisational Transformation. Prior to this role, Maureen worked as an Interview Officer for more than 10 years. She has volunteered as a mentor with MCR Pathways for several months and now features in their 'Spotlight on Partners'. Hear what Maureen has to say, and how she fits mentoring into her working week.
How did you hear about the MCR Pathways programme?
Driving to work one day and listening to the local radio I heard MCR Pathways were looking for mentors in Glasgow schools. I decided I would like to be involved as I felt I could pass on the knowledge I have gained through my life and work experiences. I wanted to help a young person through school without telling them what to do or judging them by whatever background they came from.
Why did you choose to become a mentor?
I signed up to become a mentor as it is only ONE HOUR out of seven days in a week - so not a lot of my time! Knowing that I can dedicate that one hour to my mentee and build up a good rapport with them throughout the year is really worthwhile.
What changes have you seen in the young person you mentor?
I’ve noticed her confidence has improved as initially she was very quiet and a little withdrawn. She is really good at art and she would like to be a make-up artist so by explaining to her how her art could contribute to a future career she has taken an interest to research and find out more. She has been looking into working in theatres and other opportunities - not just a beauty salon. During our 50 mins we also laugh and joke as sometimes I see myself in her when I was that age!
One of the best moments of mentoring my young person was when we said bye before the summer break. I asked “Do you want me to come back next term?” and with a big smile on her face she said YES!
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a mentor?
Go for it! Give it a chance, it is one of the best things I have done in my life and I hope to continue mentoring as long as I can.
Coinciding with the new Academic Year, Civil Service Local Scotland are proud to announce our partnership with MCR Pathways, the first project strand of our 'Supporting Vulnerable Young People' portfolio, and are pleased to announce Maureen as the strand leader.
#GiveAnHour Change a Life
MCR Pathways supports disadvantaged young people by matching them with a mentor, who they meet for one hour weekly, to help them realise their full potential. The programme, which began in one secondary school in 2007, is now embedded in all 30 Glasgow secondaries and moving into other local authorities across Scotland.
Not only does MCR mentoring help young people to find, grow and use their talents, it also has an enormously positive effect on employees. Through mentoring, volunteers build personal development and leadership skills which make them more engaged, driven and motivated employees, as endorsed and accredited by Strathclyde University Business School.
“If I didn’t have someone to speak to everything would be trapped up inside. Having a mentor has 100% changed my life.” Nicole, St Andrew's Secondary Leaver
Like Maureen, mentors are there for their young person for one hour a week in their school. They listen and encourage them to think about their future and how to achieve their goals. Fully supported by MCR Pathways every step of the way, you have an opportunity, through the Civil Service to bring about a positive impact for you, the Civil Service, but most importantly the young person you mentor.
MCR Pathways are currently looking for Civil Service mentors for young people in the Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas. Interested? Please get in touch with Maureen to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org.