Tag: MCR Pathways


MCR Pathways Mentoring

Check out Mentoring with MCR Pathways!!⁣

Helping young people, unleashing potential, supporting society and the greater good, making a real difference in the lives of others and yourself too. Just some of the many reasons to consider becoming a mentor with MCR Pathways.⁣

MCR Pathways are a national charity which supports young people, disadvantaged through no fault of their own, to create better lives for themselves with one-to-one mentoring. An organisation which has been going for more than 15 years and with over 1000 mentors who give an hour a week in Glasgow alone.⁣

Right now they are looking for more mentors so please check out..⁣


(Little pic of our Founder Benedetto and Rio, his previous mentee on their very last mentoring session before he left St Rochs secondary school back in 2021. To steal one of the charity’s marketing Iines – one relationship, two lives transformed.)⁣

#MCRPathways #Mentoring


Enough To Feed An Army, MCR Pathways Talent Tasters

As we do this little trip down memory-lane, looking at grainy smartphone pics. We couldn’t not mention MCR Pathways Talent Tasters, we’ve now done more than ten of these wonderful events over the years. The last one just before COVID hit in March 2020.

Each and every one of them getting us a little bit out of our comfort zones, every single one of them presenting new challenges, every one of them reminding us how fortunate we are that we get to do what we love every single day.

And more than that – individually we’re the lucky beneficiaries of having had people in our lives who have believed in us and helped us nurture our own talents.

Talent Tasters are wonderful events where we get anywhere up-to 10 young people (who are a part of the MCR Pathways programme) with the charity’s co-ordinators in a room and give them as close to a lifetime design experience as possible for half a day.

We usually do some kind of self-branding exercise – sketches, some time with the designers in front of a computer and then a little mini-presentation afterwards. Very much in the sprit of the loft, they are pretty much the only time – our studio is completely closed to clients, deadlines or any other form of interruption and we do everything we can to engineer the possibility that maybe just maybe, one of the young people we work with on that day is inspired the way we were when we decided to pursue a life of creativity.

One of the funnier aspects of this great experience is the king-size breakfast that we sometimes enjoy before the creative work begins, we always over-buy and end up with the hilarious contrast of some young people not eating anything to others that are so high on sugar that they could take off and fly. On this particular occasion, our first event, if memory serves me right the full table was swiped at the end with one of the young people even taking a full jar of Nutella back away with them.

Giving something back is truly remarkable.. :-p



Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

Find Out More about the remarkable MCR Pathways programme >>> 

Or the loft’s unique culture >>> 


Celebrating the design talent of tomorrow…. 

This morning, we were absolutely delighted to once again support the young people of Glasgow, by hosting our 11th MCR Pathways Talent Taster. As always, we were bowled over by the incredible creativity, talent and skills of the students. As always, we shared plenty of laughs. And as always we finished in the afternoon feeling hopeful that we may have just played a part in helping to ignite a spark of potential in one or two of them.

These are some just some of the excellent works by Kiera, Maria, Daniel and Joel. A huge thank you to Jack and Jade – who were absolutely magnificent this morning too.

And finally for most of my friends in the creative sector – design, branding, video, etc… Young people are really, really interested in what we do so if you can spare some time, please help out and get involved too. Send us a message for more info or contact MCR Pathways

Thank you.




Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business


Dr Iain MacRitchie, MCR Pathways and the LOFTCAST Video Podcast Production

Some of you may or may not know but the loft released its first ever video podcast production last month called loftcast, yes we like that title too. The loftcast is a brand new series designed to help individuals with big goals, ambitions and aspirations fulfil them by sharing the experiences of other high-impact people. Those who have seen it, done it and are now ready to talk about it. The first in our series seen us interview Dr Iain MacRitchie, a hugely successful commercial entrepreneur who is helping disadvantaged young people through his charity MCR Pathways. They really don’t come much more high-impact!

You can see the full interview on YouTube at http://theloft.video/loftcast

However, for those of you that are a little in a hurry check out these smaller clips of the interview.




1. Introduction
Introducing a leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Iain has delivered over £500 Million in shareholder value, overseen a 6-fold increase in company profits and received international acclaim for the 18+ organisations he’s worked with. All of which, he states, pales into insignificance compared to the ‘challenge of a lifetime’ in supporting disadvantaged young people to realise their potential despite circumstances. 2000 young people supported so far with a plan to reach 5000.





2. MCR Pathways
Introducing MCR Pathways, a transformational programme supporting young people through the education system to make sure their talent defines them and not their circumstances.





3. A Journey From Commercial To Social Entrepreneur
From making money to making a difference, how a restless journey of goal-setting, being on the edge of the comfort zone and an ultimate search for satisfaction has led Iain to doing what he does today.





4. Creating Positive Change
How success is down to persuasion – persuading others that a change is the right thing to do and coming out your own head to understand, help and eventually lead others to success.





5. Being Comfortable With Failure
How thinking, dwelling and eventually boxing-off failure, or the fear of the unknown, in your mind can lead to freedom.





6. From A Mindset Of Failure To Success
From defining the best version of something to understanding where you are now and creating the steps in-between can lead to real transformations.





7. Removing Uncertainty
How uncertainty takes the wind out of everything and the importance of understanding – then removing it – for the success of your venture. All starting with a thought-process.





8. Creating The Best Version of Something
How there are sparks in everybody and the right combination of Motivation, Commitment and Resilience – can lead a person to become the best version of themselves.





9. Turnaround Professional Of The Year to Bust! (ALMOST)
How an unforgettable evening for Iain at the Savoy London, with 2 major award wins, almost went sour.





10. MCR – Motivation, Commitment and Resilience
How connecting Motivation, Commitment and Resilience can become the chemistry of change and propel individuals, teams and organisations to real and lasting change.





11. Bridging Vision With Reality
What do we want it to be? What is it right now? And what do we do in between?





12. Transformational Impact of MCR Pathways Mentoring
From 48.8% of young people progressing to University, College or University over a three-year period to 83%. Ridiculously effective but with simplicity at its heart.





13. Creating Sustainable Change
How spending time with those that need it and applying MCR principles has led to a more sustainable form of change – both in organisations and with young people.





14. Liam’s Story
From 4 years behind at school to a degree, job, home ownership and now mentoring others alongside his new wife – The Ripple Effect.





15. Realising Potential Despite Circumstances
How giving individuals the way, the choice and support can lead to freedom.





16. Testing Yourself & Challenging Habits
You don’t know what you’re capable off until you’re on the edges of your comfort zone.





17. The Future Of MCR Pathways
How Iain wants every single young person, close to the care-system or with social work involvement, to have MCR Mentoring as a right. And for the model to be introduced in every Western economy too. Dead Easy!





18. The Future For Iain
How sharing MCR’s techniques wherever they can be applied – institutions, organisations and even countries – gives us a glimpse into Iain’s future.

Thanks for taking the time to watch Iain. If you enjoyed our first video podcast production then, why not check out our second…  ‘Brian Williamson, Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.’ >>> 




At the loft we’ve been working with MCR Pathways for a number of years now.

For those that aren’t in the know, MCR Pathways are an incredible charity that exists to ensure that ‘every disadvantaged young person in Scotland, gets the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as other young people.’

They mainly do this by providing supportive mentors who meet the young person for one hour each week at their local high schools.

In the past, the loft has provided creative support and work-experience opportunities to the charity. However, amazing designers Reiss McLeod and Laura Campbell have taken this not one but several steps further. They’ve passed their exams, did their training and are now fully-fledged mentors. Pictured here in their favourite haunt (Paesano Pizza,) they will both commit one hour a week to help their mentees create a better life for themselves. An absolutely wonderful commitment!

They meet their mentees in a few weeks time and are incredibly excited to help a young person as well as make a contribution.


We salute you both…

If you would like to help a young person and want to get involved in mentoring, please check out… http://mcrpathways.org 



‘Soaring Spirits’

Spirit’s an interesting concept – intangible, unquantifiable, easier to feel than properly articulate. Every now and then you can experience it at its strongest – a football match where your team score at the last minute, a gig where your favourite band just kill it on stage and tonight at the Kelvingrove where the kids from MCR Pathways have just wowed us with an amazing music and drama performance.

For those that aren’t in the know, ‘Young Glasgow Talent by MCR Pathways’ is an organisation that helps young people unlock their talent. The organisation teams up with schools and provides mentors to students, some of whom, have had the most ridiculously difficult starts to life. The organisation has an exceptional record (over 700 young people supported, 15 schools participating, 800 plus mentors and 1321 volunteers registered – and all in a very short space of time.)

Tonight was the Creative Showcase, we had the great and good of Glasgow out in their many, we had the launch of a painting by the world class Gerard M Burns and it was all hosted in the most magnificent of settings – The Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

However, all of that pales into insignificance when compared to the soaring spirits of the young people who thrilled, entertained and moved us from the stage tonight.

Where do you start?

The evening was kicked off with an incredibly moving drama performance of the students just oh-so gently reminding us a little of what they had been through before kicking into a wonderfully moving cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are.’

We were treated to the story of Gerard Burn’s painting and how some of the students had contributed to its creation – the painting itself really is something.

And the evening was concluded by the incredible Mya, a 14 years-old singer-songwriter who confessed on stage that she suffers from autism and anxiety, but whose renditions of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ left the audience absolutely stunned of the sheer potency of a 14-year old voice.

What amazing things can happen when talent is unlocked!

She mentioned she was looking to get her Facebook fanbase over 1000 and if you happen to be reading – check out https://www.facebook.com/MBmusicProductions/.

It’s definitely worth a like.

Individual talent aside, what is even more impressive is the spirit and togetherness of the young people – there was an incredibly moving moment at the end of Mya’s performance when her friends from the organisation just gate-crashed the stage, clapping, singing and all wildly encouraging us to share in the most joyous of moments.

We all did.

What’s more, the spirit of the young people is matched by each and every person in the MCR Pathways team. Whether it’s Claire O’Hara urging the audience to leave the safety of their seats to embrace the magic of the young people by standing closer to the stage. Iain MacRitchie, the founder absolutely making sure the Gerard M Burns Painting could be photographed and sent to the Herald before 730PM to make the deadline for Page-3 tomorrow. Or Robin Dewar, the IT manager who just went out in the cold Glasgow rain to get me a laptop to write this with my phone out of juice.

To a person, each and every-one of them care so much, give it everything they’ve got and exemplify this ‘soaring spirit’ themselves.

Whether you are a person interested in mentoring, an employer who wants to provide a talent taster work-experience or just somebody looking to get a little more involved – this is an organisation that’s worth knowing and supporting.

‘Soaring Spirits’ each and every one of them.

Check out http://www.youngglasgowtalent.org for more info…



Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen fast and in a big way.


MCR Pathways – Changing Perspectives

Right, this is my first blog post so go easy. I talk about the most inspiring three hours of my short design career so far – so here goes..

I arrived at work last Friday feeling rather different. The last time I walked into our studio feeling this nervous I was clutching onto my portfolio and CV, prepared to beg Benedetto for a job.

But why was I so nervous? Was there a 9am meeting I wasn’t prepared for? An impending deadline at my desk? Had trainer Jamie from Puregym made me want to vomit before work? No, not this time. In fact, today we’re ignoring our deadlines, meetings as well as Jamie and opening our door to four young students into our office for a ‘Talent Taster’.

This ‘Talent Taster’ was organised by MCR Pathways, a Glasgow based organisation that ensures young kids from disadvantaged backgrounds, remain inspired and confident about their future. These talent tasters are organised for secondary school students to learn more about the jobs they think they might want when they’re older. Which means a big part of what they do is help young people discover what skills and capabilities they have up their sleeves.

So back to that cold morning..

After a quick breakfast with the guys (becoming a Loft tradition), we had a team talk on how the morning would pan-out. I was still apprehensive about the idea, but I guess what excited me most about this opportunity, was the prospect of a young person leaving our little studio in Merchant City, on the right path, ready to take on the big design world.

Before I knew it, the team talk was over and the kids were arriving. One by one they hesitantly walked through the studio door. What I was looking at was four future Creative Directors, all be it slightly shorter than Benedetto (Only slightly), clutching onto their bags, lunch boxes and jackets.

After a brief introduction we dived from the highest springboard into the deep-end, head first. Each member of the team was paired with a student. I was picked last, something I remember all to well from the gym hall at high school.

My partner in crime’s name was Callum, a curious chap. Before I could show him some of my work for the loft he asks for a business card, obviously after some credentials – this young man means business.

Callum instantly comes out of his shell as soon as we start chatting and interacting. I guess this is what MCR Pathways is all about: Giving young people that confidence, especially when they get one to one attention from someone who cares.

We slowly make our way around the room as I show him some of our most recent projects. Callum seems not only enthralled but inquisitive. He kept me on my toes by asking loads of questions on concepts and design choices, which to be honest, I wasn’t expecting. This no longer seems like a Talent Taster experience but more like a discussion from designer to designer. It was lovely to have someone who not only wanted to hear what I do day-to-day, but to actually question it and offer opinions and ideas.

I turn to Callum and question his age, my jaw almost hits the floor when he replies with: ‘Fourteen’.

We grab a chair (I definitely needed one) and start the exercise I prepared on the bus into work. Our idea was to replicate the creative process, with one of the hardest briefs a designer ever has to face: Personal Branding.
It starts with a mind map where the creatives had to fill in the blanks. What’s your name? Hobbies? Your favourite colour? What’s special about you? What memorable logos can you think of?

Immediately after filling in the gaps Callum lifts his pencil case out and begins to sketch ideas, explaining his ideas as he does so. It feels like he understands the creative process back to front. I try to fuel his mind with some ideas to build on, but I see he’s in his own world so I let him be and grab a pen and paper myself. I glance over every so often, and see an intense look of concentration, matched with a smile.

What I remember most about this experience is being astounded by Callum’s sketching abilities, and how fast he was bringing his ideas to life.

With a dozen possible routes we head over to my Mac – we fire up Illustrator and after a very brief demonstration, get to work. This part of the process is where I’m needed most. Callum explains to me that his school doesn’t have a Adobe software such as Illustrator or Photoshop and he doesn’t have access to a computer at home.

My heart sinks a little.

With such a creative mind and with so much potential, I offer some advice on where he may be able to match his creativity with useful skills that could develop his ideas and take them to the next level.

You can see a light in his eyes as he watches me closely whip up some of his designs. There was an air of excitement in the room. Callum commented on how he loved how his design was coming to life and I explained to him that’s what I loved most about this job: that ‘buzz’. How our ideas start from a quick sketch and develop into finished brands, campaigns etc.

Before we know it, the experience is over and we’re saying our goodbyes. Callum and the other young creatives have something valuable to take back with them – a brand – but more importantly, a realistic view of what it really means to be a designer.

Reflecting back, I really got the feeling that some perspectives on life may have changed for the better that morning. Not just for the young creatives, but for ourselves as designers. It certainly made me stop and think. Think about the opportunities I’ve been given over the years, but think more about how incredibly lucky I am to be doing something I love each day – and earning a living from it.

I would urge any professional to get involved in MCR Pathways. I challenge you to find any other experience so moving and uplifting that will make you or your team feel this inspired. Good luck, you’ll need it.



Charlie is one of the new-generation of designers – equally at home online/offline. He has a wonderful imagination and is at his best when dreaming up brave, bright and beautiful ideas in the many sketch-books that he keeps.

A great conceptual thinker, with a special ability to solve challenging problems. Charlie is a real team-player too and most recently the brains behind ‘The Loft-Social.’