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First ‘Heritage Journey’ for Glasgow Young Carers

In July Venture Trust was delighted to be awarded £49,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) ‘Young Roots’ programme to work with young carers from Glasgow, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES). The first of two groups has just returned from a week in the Scottish Highlands, learning more about the history and heritage of Drovers’ routes whilst undertaking activities designed to develop their core life skills.

During the two months prior to the journey, the group took part in a series of evening workshops at Venture Trust’s Glasgow hub, which included heritage research sessions co-delivered by HES outreach staff, and activities about videography, photography and sound recording with Media Partner Sabine Hellman.

HES has helped Venture Trust to access unique learning opportunities at key points along the week-long wilderness journey. After departing from Venture Trust’s National Participant Centre in Stirling, the group spent nearly 24 hours immersed in the life of a rural township from the early 1800’s, including spending their first night in a roundhouse at Auchindrain Township near Inverary. Here they had dinner cooked over a fire, and listened to Drovers’ tales, poems and traditional songs.

During their week, the young carers went on to stay at a Long House, visit Rob Roy’s grave and Doune Castle. They walked on average 8 miles per day and took part in group activities throughout the week. On the last night the group finished their wilderness journey at Stirling Castle where they were given a tour of the building and an insight into its history.

Over the coming weeks, participants will use a range of different methods to record and interpret their findings, creating resources to encourage more young people to engage with heritage in the future.

As well as being educational, and a chance to experience new things, the young carers are also learning valuable life skills, problem solving, responsibility, teamwork, and setting and working towards achieving goals.

James Turner, project lead for Historic Environment Scotland said: ‘We are very proud to be involved in this initiative with the Venture Trust, and I would like to say a massive thanks to all those who helped deliver the heritage wilderness course, as well as a huge congratulations to those who took part in it.’

Hazel Johnson, project coordinator said ‘This kind of project is new territory for Historic Environment Scotland, it has been immensely rewarding to engage and connect with this key young audience, allowing us the opportunity to share and celebrate the historic environment with these inspirational young adults.’

As with all young people on our Inspiring Young Futures programme, participants will benefit from up to 12 months of one-to-one support from a Venture Trust outreach worker following their wilderness journey; this will enable them to draw on the skills learnt, and to begin making positive changes such as taking steps to volunteer, enter further education, training or employment.

An event will be held in Glasgow in December to present the group’s learning and to celebrate their achievements. Workshops will begin again in the New Year to prepare the second group for their Heritage Journey during the Easter break.

For further details of the Venture Trust’s Tracking the Highland Drovers programme, click here

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