Posted: 30 Jul. 2020 3 min. read

Keeping young people connected

Back in 2016 we launched One Million Futures, a new responsible business strategy with the goal of helping one million people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. It was a big number. An ambitious goal. And we set ourselves just five years to achieve it.

Fast forward four years and we’re delighted that we’ve reached our goal of positively impacting one million people - ahead of schedule.  From the classroom to the boardroom, we’ve helped people from different backgrounds all across the UK by raising aspirations, improving skills and developing leaders. Some we’ve helped directly through things like our mentoring programmes in schools and our transition labs. Others we’ve helped by working with 70 of the most inspiring charities and social enterprises across the country.

One million stories

We’ve reached out to some of our charity partners in Scotland to ask them to share some of their stories.

Keeping young people connected - #Stayconnected

Move On Scotland work with vulnerable young people and people affected by homelessness to help them unlock their untapped potential. It is considered one of the leading mentoring organisations in Scotland and has consistently supported people to achieve  positive outcomes. Their services enable people to develop life and employability skills, build positive social networks, grow in self-confidence, gain qualifications and sustain a job.

Move On became our charity partner in our Glasgow office last year and we have quickly learned that the organisation has a dedication and passion, and we have been inspired at the amazing work they do.

The role of a mentor at Move On is to provide a supportive relationship to help connect the young person with social, cultural and leisure opportunities and then support them to build their confidence, skills, potential and positive social networks. Mentors and young people meet once a week to work together as a pair towards a goal of the young person’s choice. Young people often choose recreation or leisure goals, such as learning to play guitar, boxing lessons or taking a cookery class.

When lockdown happened, their offices closed and they had to quickly adapt to continue to support their young people.  Like most of us, they quickly turned to the virtual world and have continued to support their volunteers and young people to keep in regular contact via phone, text and video.

However, this crisis has shone a light on the inequality in our community. Some of the young people they support do not have access to a device to allow them to get on-line, which is where we have tried to help.  A request to the Glasgow office to donate any spare devices that people had at home made a big impact to help Move On keep connected with the people they support.

This has helped one of their young people, Martyn, and his mentor, Rhianna, to stay connected by taking part in online art classes together. Since taking part, Martyn has been keeping busy painting beautiful landscapes. This has been a great activity to help him relax and unwind.

Another of the young people who received an iPhone has been using it to keep in touch with family, access his email, and engage with their mentoring service. Before he received the iPhone, his staff contact at Move On and mentor had to phone his Mum's mobile phone, but now they can speak to him much more easily which has been great for weekly catch ups.

The young person who received a Chromebook has been using it to have online meetings with his mentor every week, including playing online Scrabble together. He will also use it for schoolwork after the summer holidays. There are eight people in his small house, so his younger siblings have also been using it occasionally as well. He was delighted and teared up when he received the Chromebook - it really meant so much  to him.

One more story to make you smile.  Another mentee is able to take part in her virtual bass lessons with her mentor Ian. They had started music lessons before lockdown and we're so happy she's able to continue these.

The devices have given many of Move On’s young people the opportunity to stay connected with family and friends, engage with their mentor or befriender online, and improve access to school and college work.

We believe it's not where you‘re from that's important, what counts is where you are going, allowing connection with the outside world.

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Key contact

Graeme English

Graeme English


Graeme is a Director in the Audit & Assurance team based in Glasgow. He has over 20 years’ experience within audit and is also the Glasgow office charity partner relationship manager.