I’d definitely recommend this course to anyone. it’s just a phenomenon of a course which will bring out the better side of you, and stray you from the bad habits in life.
Venture Trust is an epic adventure, where you gain; new friends (in members and staff), gain new skills, and just overall enjoy yourself and have fun. Before I heard about Venture Trust I wasn’treally doing anything with my life , but then my key worker told me about this course with Venture Trust, so I accepted to see how Venture Trust could change my life. The other participants on the course I now see as my second family. This is because when we go out on walks or expeditions we all look out for one another. Whilst on this course I feel like I’m a different person altogether, the reason for this is I have learnt new skills in which I can use in future reference. These skills are things such as; gaining self confidence, self motivation, and having trust in and for others.
I was also just another resident at a foyer wasting my life doing nothing, not even experiencing skills in which I didn’t know I had till I went to Venture Trust. Leading on from this I learnt many skills and developed other skills whilst out with Venture trust, and doing all this whilst having fun and making good friends, with staff members and participants of the course. On the course I learnt to open up to other peoples opinions, trust other people and even overcome some of life’s biggest fears for me. When I talk about this I mean, I’ve always been scared of deep water and heights but with the right support from members and staff I was able to achieve swimming in deep water and I even did an abseil.
But don’t think the course and the learning just ends after the ten days, the skills you learn on this course can be used all through life in many different situations.
My life’s changed for the better, I’m healthier, happier, thriving. I’ve got a career now, I can see a future.
I’m doing a lot more walking now, and I’m trying to do a lot more things that are positive instead of negative. I’m trying to stay focussed, trying to lose weight. Smoking less. My life’s changed a lot, I’m trying to get rid of all the negative things, just taking one day at a time. And keep focussed on things that are making me happy, and I’m just basically trying to take one day at a time.
I feel great, I feel a lot better than I’ve done in a long time.
Instead of sitting watching the telly, I want to get up and go for a nine mile walk. I do that three or four times a week now; I’d never have thought of doing that before. I want to pass my computer course, and I want to open my own fast food van. And I want to stay out of trouble – that’s a biggie. And I’m not doing bad, I’m coming on three years [without getting into trouble], and I just want to enjoy my life. My attitude’s changed, I’m not as aggressive, I walk away from situations that would have got me into trouble before.
[If I hadn’t come on the Venture Trust course] I’d be in jail, I’d be sitting in Cornton Vale.
There’s no two ways about it. It’d be the same old me, I’d of gone for a bevvie, gone fighting, be in the jail. Now I just go for a walk, total change of attitude, I’m nicer to people now, treat people with more respect. I see people in a different light now eh, before I used to think they were all against me, and I was just fighting for survival, I never used to bother about anybody. But it’s different now, I see them differently.
[If I could go back to the beginning] I wouldn’t go to Applecross for a week, I’d go for a year!
Venture Trust taught me to go after what you want... to take the masks off and just be the real you.
And instead of just surviving, try and enjoy life, and be a nicer person. It’s amazing what happens when you do take off the masks, when you get that chance, when people have got a wee bit of belief in you, and they say, ‘that’s not the real you’, and at the end of the day I’ve never known the real me. That’s what’s I love about Venture Trust; they thank you, and it makes you want to do it more. I never had anyone say thank you all my life. And people appreciating you makes you want to do more. I love coming here. It’s been really enjoyable actually, and I like the new me. I hope I never change back – I don’t think I will.
My relationships with other people have changed, because people are seeing a change in me. And they’re willing to spend time with me now, whereas before, they just didnae want to know, cos they thought you were trouble. I didnae stress over the things I used to. I’m a stronger person, I really am. I just enjoy my own company now, I really do. Before, I was needy, I think. I’ll never be that person again, that sad, sad person.
[My advice for other people thinking about coming along on a VT programme would be] Just do it! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, so just do it.
My name is Lufani M Jackson, 18 years of age. I come from Salima district and I am convicted eighteen 18 month imprisonment answering charges of bicycle theft and I will finish my sentence on 13th January 2012.
Since I was born I never be in prison but I have been involved in conflicts and stealing. I was taught that there was no chance in my life for a change but starting from February 2011 I met Greg [Venture Trust outreach worker] and starting from that time I have been attending Venture Trust sessions programmes and my life has been changed because I learnt that I have the chance for change and also learnt that we can make plans to a quality world because what we have done today can not change but we can make better than yesterday.
According to prison cells our cells here at Kachere Juvenile prison are better than before. Starting from when prison was built there was no toilets in our cells and no bathrooms but now we have all of them. Prison walls have been painted and staff houses were maintained.
After finishing my sentence I wish I could start again what I was doing in the past.
I had a barbershop and what I am looking forward is to find barber equipments and open a barbershop as a means of earning a living while also working with Venture Trust just that other people may learn how to stay in prison and how bad is the situation there, that they can take an example of me. All thanks should go to Venture Trust…for the recommendable job which he is doing here at Kachere Juvenile Prison
Yours Sincerley, Lufan J Manyozo
My relationship with my PDA helped me build confidence and stuff, and become more open with my feelings. She’s friendly and she looks after us. She’s not just a worker, she’s like a pal. She helps us, and if we’re down she cheers us up. [When I came to Venture Trust] I wanted to get out more, I wanted to become more confident. Now I’ve got loads of new pals and stuff.
It felt easier meeting participants in similar situations to me, rather than just normal people, cos they know what you’re going through. You click, just like that, and it’s easier to talk to them. Some of them, you starting talking to outside Venture Trust. I help Lucy [another participant] a lot, I make sure she gets on the bus in the morning, and I make sure I’m there to get the bus with her. [On the community activities] I learned how to work with other people, and I learnt that you can get on with anybody, you just need to put your differences aside. Outside Venture Trust, Kevin and I wouldn’t even talk, or be pals or that, but in here it’s totally different, because there’s no exclusive relationships, and everybody just gets on.
[Being in the wilderness] was weird at first. I got worried on the first night, and by the second night I was settling in. It was hard to adjust to. I felt relieved to get away from home, and just have some time to think. I think I liked it more than everyone else, because I’m usually at my mum’s, with the wains, so it was nice to get away from it all, and be with other people my own age. [My advice to other participants would be] Be yourself, stay open minded, go for it, give everything a try.
It’ll be challenging, but it’ll be worth it.