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Venture Trust wins Heritage Lottery Fund support for Young Carers

Venture Trust is pleased to announce that it has been awarded £49,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to work specifically with young carers in Glasgow. The funding will enable Venture Trust to provide personal development support coupled with two heritage wilderness journeys, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

The course, named Tracking the Highland Drovers, will focus on the history and heritage of drovers’ routes over a week long heritage journey. Twenty-four young carers will be given the opportunity to learn about this key part of Highland life, receiving support from Venture Trust and training from HES to choose topics to explore during their heritage journey.

The Scottish cattle drovers were a key part of Highland life from the 14th century to the 1940s, shaping the landscape in the form of roads and paths through some of its wildest terrain. Drovers required intimate knowledge of their routes and very high levels of endurance to survive their long journeys. This resonates with Venture Trust’s use of the outdoors as a learning environment for personal development, and a catalyst for change. During the course of the eight day journey, the young carers will develop life skills that will prepare them for more successful futures. The young people will use a range of methods to record and interpret their findings such as photography, videoing and Geocaching, creating a resource to encourage other young people to engage with history and heritage in the future.

Commenting on the award, Amelia Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Venture Trust, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and are confident the project will support young people to be active citizens with pride in their Scottish heritage.”

The programme builds upon Venture Trust’s already very successful delivery model for the Inspiring Young Futures programme, which aims at supporting young people to make positive changes in their lives. Many of the young people, aged between 16 and 25, will have a multitude of barriers in addition to having been young carers. These could be isolation, disengagement from education and employment, addiction, homelessness and abuse.

Tracking the Drovers course has just launched and will run until September 2017 with the aim of supporting 24 Glasgow young carers. During this time Venture Trust aims to:

- suppport 24 young carers to develop self-confidence, personal and social skills relevant in all aspects of life, learning and work.

- support 24 young carers to develop technical skills in research, investigation, social media use, Geocaching
and videography.

- support 10 Historic Environment Scotland staff to develop and foster a learning platform to engage with a group of young people who may not have had the opportunity to engage with the historic environment

HES staff are providing invaluable help and advice during the development of the project and will be involved in assisting the young people in carrying out research. They will also enable Venture Trust to access unique opportunities for immersive learning about heritage at key points along the 8-day wilderness journey.

James Turner, project lead for Historic Environment Scotland said: “We are hugely proud to be supporting the Venture Trust in championing participants to grow their confidence and motivation. Furthermore working with the Venture Trust will give Historic Environment Scotland the opportunity to engage and connect with a key young audience group. The project we are developing will allow the young adults to learn about the historic environment fostering a sense of belonging, ownership and pride”.

During the development of the project, Margaret Ralph, South West Glasgow Carers Centre, comments, “I believe this project would be a fantastic opportunity for the young carers we work with in Glasgow, taking them away from their home environments and giving them the chance to spend a week experiencing Venture Trust’s unique wilderness personal development programme. We have previously worked in partnership with Venture Trust and we value the opportunities that the organisation offers to young people.”

Those who embark on the Tracking the Highland Drovers programme will benefit from up to 12 months of one-to-one support from a Venture Trust outreach worker following their wilderness journey. This support will enable them to draw on the skills learnt, and begin making positive changes such as taking steps to volunteer, get back into education, training or employment.

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “We are enthusiastic about giving young people the chance to learn about heritage. Thanks to National Lottery players our Young Roots programme helps them to bring fresh ideas and energy to the task. Tracking the Highland Drovers – Young Carers Exploring the History and Heritage of Drovers' Routes is an excellent example of how they can get involved, take decisions, develop new skills and interests, connect with their communities and have fun.”

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