Working together, we are offering individuals the opportunity to overcome obstacles in their lives and accelerate towards more positive futures. We’re helping people on their personal development journey, getting their lives back on the rails, and not falling into the trap of making obvious puns in any way shape or form.
In 2013 Network Rail granted funding to support Venture Trust’s work with people who feel their lives have hit the buffers – involved in offending, facing drug/alcohol issues, struggling with unemployment or feeling isolated. Network Rail recognised that Venture Trust could engage individuals with whom many other agencies couldn’t or wouldn’t work. But most importantly, Network Rail also shared an ethos with Venture Trust; that many individuals have the capacity to change, and, with the right support, can flourish and make valuable contributions to their communities. Engineering change if you will...
The starting point, as with all Venture Trust programmes, is providing intensive support to help individuals develop the confidence, the motivation, the aspiration and the core lifeskills they need to make change possible. Time, space and carefully designed support in wilderness environments away from day-to-day pressures helps participants recognise and unlock skills that many of us take for granted. Recognising the “triggers” that wind us up and how to avoid them; communicating effectively with other people and building positive relationships; how to set goals and stick with them. Most importantly, the wilderness of Scotland demands and reveals self-reliance, helps people celebrate their personal achievements often for the first time in their lives, and builds a sense of self-worth and purpose.
And did you know, most participants take the train to the starting point of their journeys from as far afield as Exeter, Wick, London and Ipswich? Sometimes it’s the first time they’ve taken a train, and as the train heads towards Scotland’s amazing mountains, rivers and coastlines, individuals start to reflect on their lives at home, what’s working and what’s not, and so the journey of change is already beginning.
Whilst funding for Venture Trust’s world leading personal development programmes forms a vital component, the partnership with Network Rail also goes well beyond that. We want to offer people employability opportunities, in a sector which is growing with major infrastructure projects across Scotland and the rest of the UK. And we want to help Network Rail in their mission to keep people and the railway safe. So in case there are any engineering jobs going, we’ve done a blueprint for success!
Over the next few months, we’ll aim to keep you updated about this partnership and its successes.
We’ll surprise you with some facts and figures about rail safety.
We’ll show you photos of the work that Network Rail’s money is supporting in Scotland’s wonderful wilderness.
We’ll share incredible stories of lives transformed.
And we’ll stop all this punning, which is frankly de-railing a perfectly good article!
We're delighted that Coastal Communities funding - announced today - has granted £144,862 to Venture Trust to enable us to market and develop adventure tourism in Applecross.
Applecross has been home to Venture Trust's wilderness provision for many years, and this announcement marks the next phase in our presence at Applecross. Thanks to this funding, we will be able to market and develop our adventure tourism provision, where we’ll run a range of wilderness adventure activities and holidays, simultaneously creating jobs and supporting the local economy, and providing internship and employment opportunities for our participants and local people.
The funding will directly create 2.5 full time equivalent jobs, safeguard existing local jobs at the hostel and create 8 vocational trainee roles for those without experience of employment. Our project is intended to attract new visitors to Hartfield House, our affiliate youth hostel, and operate as a base for delivering adventurous activities, holidays and experiences in Applecross and other wilderness areas across the Highlands.
The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) aims to encourage the economic development of UK coastal communities by awarding funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. With its outstanding natural wilderness environment, Applecross is ideally placed to develop adventure tourism. Tourism is a key element of the local employment scene, but seasonality is an issue reflected in rising unemployment in the winter. This project is designed to develop adventure tourism and extend the hostel usage throughout the year thereby developing new tourism markets and tackling the seasonality issue.
The project will leave a legacy of sustainable economic activity in the Applecross area; activity which is socially advantageous, environmentally responsible and ethically grounded. This investment will generate a robust social enterprise local employer, maximising usage of the hostel facilities as well as developing adventure tourism in Applecross.
By developing Venture Trust's social enterprise arm, the project is contributing to the local community and economy and in turn the long term sustainability of our charitable work, and supporting our ability to deliver personal and social development programmes to those who need it most.
Many thanks to Coastal Communities for this fantastic opportunity for Applecross and Venture Trust.