Wow, what an evening.
Having been invited by Kezia Dugdale MSP to host an evening event at the Scottish Parliament, we were delighted to showcase our Women in Focus presentation this evening. Following the lives and journeys of the women who took part in our very first Next Steps programme, the presentation offers a moving insight into the causes and life-shattering consequences of becoming involved in offending. It offered a unique opportunity for these women to tell their stories direct to the decision-makers at Holyrood, and was an opportunity they embraced without hesitation.
You can read more about the evening in our coverage in the Scotland on Sunday, but we can't say it better than Sally, one of the inspirational women who took part in the programme, and told her story at Holyrood this evening:
"Venture Trust has given me the confidence to believe in myself and has shown me life is about making the right choices. They have taught me to be more positive and motivated. They have helped me focus on the real me and helped me take off the masks that I’ve been hiding behind for years. It’s amazing what happens when you take off the masks, when people come into your life and believe in you, and don’t focus on your past mistakes. The course at Venture Trust is the best thing I have done in my life. If I hadn’t come to Venture Trust I’d be in jail or dead".
Possibly the best way to understand what goes on during our Inspiring Young Futures programme is to watch our specially commissioned video. Follow our participants right through a programme, and see for yourself how, and why, it's so effective:
We're proud to have been asked by the Life Changes Trust Project to manage a consultation with a group of young people who had been in care. Care leavers - aged 18-25 from across Scotland - were asked to debate how they would allocate £25 million in a way that would improve the experience of young people leaving care, and help them to make a successful transition to independent living.
Venture Trust held a consultation session at Applecross in November 2011, allowing the group of young people time and space to compare and contrast their experiences. Many reported difficulty accessing suitable housing, getting into employment or educational programmes and all expressed difficulty in achieving financial independence. There were some strong recurring themes and a lot of positive aspirational debate with many of those consulted expressing a strong motivation to volunteer to improve the condition of those who formed their ‘constituency’; future generations of looked after young people leaving care.
By the end of the four-day consultation, the group had agreed on headlines thoughts on how the money should be spent and how they would shape services. Although there were many and varied suggestions, the following were the views shared by all or many. These are not in order of priority, but form a list of common agreement.
- The establishment of single point access to services
- The establishment of a Peer Mentoring/ Professional Friend network
- The establishment of early, quality care leaver preparation and life skills training
- The establishment of peer networks
- The establishment of a ‘constituent forum’ to inform policy monitor the Life Changes Trust and have a voice
The group worked hard and enthusiastically on preparing their proposal. They took on this responsibility with a serious and workmanlike approach and remained committed to this consultation over a period of four long days. They will continue to work with the Life Changes Trust to shape this project longer-term.
Venture Trust is celebrating after receiving a share of £1,058,367 contributed to the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund. The fund was established by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, so that anyone who wished to give them a wedding gift could instead donate to their chosen charities in celebration of their wedding.
Donations made were through the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund website, and to the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Contributions to the Fund were also made via revenue raised from wedding-related projects including a donation by Decca Records from the sales of the official Royal Wedding Album and a donation made by Mario Testino’s office from the sales of the photograph of the couple printed in the official wedding brochure.
The donations made to Venture Trust will be used to help us reach our target of offering a ‘Chance for Change’ to more than 1,500 vulnerable people over the next three years. Our programmes are carefully designed to help vulnerable, disadvantaged and chaotic individuals to take personal responsibility for their choices and behaviour, and to support them to build healthier relationships, more positive lifestyles and sustain opportunities in employment, education, training and voluntary work.
Are you on a 28 day notice of termination? Do you need to get away from the foyer? Venture Trust is the way forward, it’s a great opportunity with many benefits that can make you see your life at home in a different point of view using plans and different techniques to manage your time and routine. On the train journey up here from Eastbourne, the furthest point of south England you can get, I was abit nervous and didn’t know what I was throwing myself into. I soon found out within 2 days that the train journey was more than worth it and the experience only got better.
It was a great place to be, in a gorgeous location with sights that are breath taking and stunning to see. With all the support you possibly need you instantly feel at home upon arrival, the friendly and humorous staff make the experience all the more better. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, gain new skills and realise that you are capable of things you never thought you could do, you find out a lot about yourself and makes you see life in a different light. There’s no regrets in my mind about venturing on this course, in the situation I was in at home with a life of drugs, drink and no sleep routine venture trust gave me the kick and motivation to sort my life out and they helped me every step of the way.
If you feel as if your life isn’t going anywhere, day in and day out you have nothing to do then throw yourself into this course, at the end of the day you have nothing to lose.