News for 2015

  • | News

    Evaluation of the Next Steps Programme

    Venture Trust has commissioned SMCI Associates to evaluate the impact of the Big Lottery funded “Next Steps” programme.

    The research will enable Venture Trust and its stakeholders to understand the impact of each part of the “Next Steps” programme on the lives of participants and to what extent the programme has delivered the outcomes it set out to achieve.

    The evaluation will provide learning outcomes for Venture Trust, and other stakeholders interested in either issues surrounding reducing (re-) offending for women caught up in the criminal justice system or the use of wilderness/outdoor activities within personal and social development with vulnerable groups.

    The evaluation runs from 2015 to September 2017, and includes several elements, including a stakeholder survey which asks for your views. We would be very grateful if you would click on the link below to participate in the survey. It will take no longer than five minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

    If you have any queries about the survey, or would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Sheila Inglis, Director, SMCI Associates, phone: 07894 337317.

  • | Fundraising | News

    Grand Opening of Venture Trust National Participant Centre

    On 25 June 2015, Venture Trust opened the doors to its new National Participant Centre in Stirling. The newly refurbished building is the main hub from which critical Venture Trust work takes place.

    Venture Trust supports a wide range of young people with disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds, to get back on their feet. It does this through intensive wilderness expeditions and life skills development support, with the aim being to give the participants the tools to make positive changes in their lives. That could be anything from finding a home, gaining skills to enable them to get a job, going to college, or getting help with addiction. The new centre in Stirling will provide a base from which to operate these wilderness expeditions.

    We would like to thank LandAid, St James’s Place Foundation, Wooden Spoon and the Clothworker’s Foundation for their support with the project. Also many thanks to Glasgow Warriors and Scotland rugby player Dougie Hall, for opening the centre.

    To find out more about the people we support, our personal development and employability skills programmes and the positive impact achieved, please visit our programmes page.

    The press release about the opening event is also available here.

    We will put photos of the centre up here soon!

  • | Fundraising

    A new partnership to help young people

    Venture Trust receives £100k of investment and strategic support from Impetus-PEF.

    Working in partnership, Venture Trust and Impetus-PEF are committed to improving the long-term employment and education outcomes for young people in Scotland experiencing disadvantage or living with vulnerable or chaotic circumstances.

    Impetus-PEF is a UK charity which funds and supports high potential charities and social enterprises working to improve the lives and prospects of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    We are delighted to receive the support of Impetus-PEF. This follows a rigorous assessment process of our work and impact. With this support, Venture Trust can reach more young people to gain the necessary life skills, motivation and direction to progress into work, training or education.

    To find out more about the people we support, our personal development and employability skills programmes and the positive impact achieved, please visit our programmes page.

    You can read the press release here.

  • | Fundraising | News

    The London Marathon from a Venturer’s perspective.

    Venture Mòr's Business Development Manager, Jess, recently ran the London Marathon for Venture Trust! She finished in an incredible 4 hours 28 minutes. Here she tells us about her day (which, by the way, was her birthday too!).

    It was so, so exciting! The Applecross Running Team- Gerry (who ran for Prostate Cancer UK), Sarah (who ran for Fight for Sight), and I all started together, which was amazing given that we thought we would never find each other amongst the thousands of other runners. Sarah and I spent the first 13 miles weaving in and out of competitors, feeling really strong, but at mile 19 it started to get harder. The crowd were utterly mind blowing though, and kept me going. On many occasions I looked round to see if I knew the people speaking to me because it felt like they were cheering just me – the shouts of ‘come on Jess, you’re looking strong, you can do it!’ were awesome (although I think they might have said this to everyone looking like they were about to pass out).

    My fellow runners were incredible too, many of them running on behalf of a charity close to their own hearts. I passed a man doing seven marathons in seven days, a huge hulk of a man dressed as a Baywatch babe, Jesus (yes, actually on the cross), and a lady dressed as an ‘Essex girl’ running in 5” stilettos! It hit me at one point that I wasn’t going as fast as I’d thought when a man dressed as a phone box passed me!

    The weather was cold and wet, which was perfect for Team Applecross, being used as we were to the Highlands in winter. There was a man DJing from his flat balcony to spur us on, and kids lined the streets with their hands outstretched to give us high fives all the way along the route. There were steel bands, African drums, jazz, and a Scottish band of pipe players which made us very emotional.

    The supporters were fantastic! There were people with cut up bananas, oranges, jelly beans- just because they wanted to do something to help all those people going through all kinds of pain, each one doing it for a reason personal to them. There were moments when I thought I was going crazy with all the thoughts that were running through my head, and moments when the crowd literally reduced me to tears.

    Running along the embankment was phenomenal, and passing Big Ben knowing we only had a short way to go was the best thing ever… apart from seeing the finish line and knowing that the pain was going to stop soon. Except it didn’t! The agony of stopping was clear to see in everyone hanging sheepishly around the finish area, unable to move, sit, stand, or walk. And everyone was so emotional they didn’t know whether to collect their kit, hug someone random, collapse on the ground, or cheer like a crazy person!

    It really was the best day ever… and to top it all off, it was my birthday… and I got a medal!

    I have raised £2,641 online to date and I have lots more to put into the pot. The support we had back home was nothing short of amazing. The whole of Applecross got behind us and tracked us on the app. And the donations just kept pouring in on the day.

    My top tips:

    1. I really hated my bumbag. In normal circumstances this would not be something I would purchase, but I needed something to carry my energy gels. Be sure to go running with your bumbag and the kit you’ll take on the day to make sure it’s comfortable!
    2. Make sure you pop to the loo before you start your race! It sounds simple… but even the pros can get caught short!
    3. Never put an overly predicted low time on your application, otherwise you end up at the back of the 38,000 people running and have to spend 13 miles or so weaving in and out of those people who have chosen to walk the marathon.
    4. Never agree to a celebratory dinner just a few hours later… you will be too tired and unable to climb the steps of the tube!
    5. Have fun, and if it feels like it’s too much and you can’t do any more, just remember why you’re doing it, the great cause you’re supporting, and keep going! You’ll get to the finish line eventually, and when you do, you’ll be elated with your achievement!

    All in all it was an incredible day- one of the best days of my life- and something I would definitely recommend everyone experiences if they have the opportunity. To run on behalf of Venture Trust knowing that the money I have raised really will support some of the most disadvantaged people in our society is something that I’m so glad I had the chance to do. I can officially call myself a ‘Venturer’… and it doesn’t stop there!

    I did think that after The London Marathon the only thing I’d be running was a bath, but Team Applecross has decided to run the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May and I’ll once again be representing Venture Trust! Please do pop over to my Virgin Money Giving Page and give a little (or a lot) to support this incredibly worth-while charity!

  • | Fundraising | News

    Jess represents Venture Trust at The London Marathon 2015

    Yesterday, Venture Mòr's Business Development Manager, Jess, swapped the mountains of Applecross for the streets of London to run the one and only London Marathon!

    After months of hard training up and down the snowy mountains of Applecross, the home of Venture Trust's social enterprise, Venture Mòr, Jess completed the London Marathon yesterday in an absolutely phenomenal 4 hours, 28 minutes! Through a number of fundraising events such as curry nights, micro-marathons, zumbathons, and film nights, Jess has managed to raise a whopping £2,541 for Venture Trust. This money will go a long way to supporting some of the hardest-to-reach people in Scotland and beyond.

    Jess and her fellow 'Team Applecross' runners were certainly well prepared for the 26 miles and 385 yards having dedicated themselves to their intensive training, whatever the weather, in the great Scottish wilderness of Applecross, Wester Ross.

    She was joined in London by Sarah, who ran for Fight for Sight, and 'Grandad' Gerry, who ran for Prostate Cancer UK. This meant that over 1% of the entire population of Applecross ran the London Marathon yesterday!

    We're delighted with Jess' hard work and so proud to have her representing Venture Trust in London. On why Jess decided to run for Venture Trust she said:

    "I have been blown away by the good things [Venture Trust does] for disadvantaged young adults through outdoor adventure. A lot of the people who come through the Venture Trust's doors have been missed or even turned away by society. It is the hard work, patience and utter brilliance of the people at this organization that really make a difference to so many young lives.

    The money raised for the Venture Trust will go some way towards funding more places for young people that, because of their past experiences, have become marginalised and vulnerable and are living chaotic lifestyles. The Venture Trust wilderness courses use a combination of counselling, constructive support, practical help and outdoor adventure to provide individuals with the capacity to make positive changes, and to take responsibility for their lives.

    I work for Venture Mòr, the newly established social enterprise wholly owned by Venture Trust. We are made up of three parts: an outdoor activity company providing adventure holidays across the Highlands; a large hub in the form of Hartfield House hostel in Applecross, and; a pledge to provide a springboard into the world of work for disadvantaged young adults. So raising funds for Venture Trust is an extension of what we are trying to do through Venture Mòr.”

    It's not too late to sponsor Jess! Head over to her Virgin Money Giving page to congratulate her and support Venture Trust.

    For more information about Venture Trust's social enterprise, Venture Mòr, head over to their website, or you can like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter for regular updates.

    Once again, let's hear it for our fantastic supporter, Jess, who's hard work and dedication enables Venture Trust to continue supporting disadvantaged young people to make a positive change in their lives. In a way, Jess' achievement and determination reflects the achievements of our participants after taking on the challenge of Venture Trust's wilderness journey:

    "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”- John Bingham

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