Venture Trust really is putting its money where its mouth is, and supporting personal development, learning, education and training - even in those still at school!
A recent addition to the Venture Trust team was Amelia Whistance Holmes, just 14 years old and looking to learn more about the charity sector, and the work that Venture Trust undertakes to help people at the very edges of society. Amelia was on work experience from Plockton High School in the Highlands, shadowing her mother, Jess Whistance, and learning about Communications and Marketing, as well as how Venture Trust charity operates, and the programmes that it runs.
Amelia comments, "There is a lot more to Venture Trust than I thought. The work it is doing to help people who are struggling with really difficult things in life, is amazing. The programmes that take people out into the outdoors and teach them about working together, and new skills, is such a great way of making things interesting and at the same time is helping to change lives. I learnt so much. I don't think I want to go into marketing and communications like my mum as I realised that there was a lot more research and emails and spending time on the phone organising things than I expected. Even setting up a story for television was not as interesting as I imagined - there was a lot of time spent writing notes and changing plans, and preparing people - not very glamourous!"
Amelia was tasked with researching ways to raise the profile of Venture Trust and its programmes to different audiences, sourcing new publications and digital resources. She was also tasked with looking at Venture Mor, the growing social enterprise that works to provide a sustainable income for Venture Trust programmes.
Jess Whistance, Communications & Marketing Manager at Venture Trust commented, "It was great having Millie working with me. It was a chance for me to show her the really crucial work that goes on at Venture Trust, and to show her what it is that I do. She was really inspired by Venture Trust, and how they support people to change their lives - how can you not be? But my job? I am not sure I will be seeing Millie following in my PR footsteps any time soon!"
For more information about Venture Trust's programmes, please click here.
A group of Glasgow based young carers celebrated the progress they had made with a film screening at the GMAC in Glasgow. The group of young people had, over previous months, taken a unique journey ‘back through the centuries,’ living the life of a Highland Drover.
A film of the 8 day wilderness journey, which utilised the outdoors as a catalyst for personal development, and learning new skills, was screened at the GMAC Film Centre on Thursday 8 June. The project, run by Venture Trust with Historic Environment Scotland, saw youngsters cover up to ten miles daily on a week’s wilderness journey across the Highlands, learning about routes taken by drovers and how they lived.
The group are all young carers involved in providing different levels of support to family members. They found time to go every Thursday after school to Venture Trust’s centre in Duke Street to prepare the ground for the wilderness journey.
In their week in the wild, the carers followed droving routes from Argyll to Stirling, learning about folklore and heritage of the drovers – a history which spans the centuries from the 14th to the 1940s.
Venture Trust worked with the group on personal development, safety and survival in the wilderness. The young people also learned about endurance and resilience by camping, cooking and sleeping outdoors just as the drovers would have done.
A major aim of the project is to encourage more young people to learn about Scotland’s history and heritage. The carers visited historic sites on the wilderness journey, including a stone - floored longhouse at Auchindrain Township near Inveraray, and the grave of Rob Roy, while also trying their hand at stone masonry in Stirling Castle.
James Turner, Historic Environment Scotland said: “We are proud to be working with Venture Trust. It’s been so rewarding to celebrate the environment with these inspirational young adults.”
Venture Trust will follow up on the wilderness journey by giving the carers one-to-one support for the next 12 months. The week in the wilderness allowed the young people to develop new skills in editing, photography, and filming, as well as learning crucial life skills in teamwork, responsibility, and communication; all of which will open up new possibilities for future training, volunteering and employment.
Every young person will get a copy of their film and certificates for completing the journey. The project, called ‘Young Roots’ received a grant of £49,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, advice and practical support from Historic Environment Scotland.
Today marks the end of Volunteers’ Week Scotland (1-7 June 2017), which has seen charities celebrate the vital contribution made by volunteers the length and breadth of the country – the work of volunteers contributes an estimated £2.6 billion every year to the Scotland.
Nikki has been volunteering with the funding team at our Edinburgh office for two days a week since September 2016, and has made a great contribution to our fundraising efforts, particularly focussing on making applications to Trusts & Foundations. As someone who has a love of the outdoors and a desire to help people negotiate difficult life situations, she told us,
"I’m very much drawn to the ethos and values of the Venture Trust. I’m inspired by how the charity combines lessons and values that can be gained by wilderness challenges with very practical, valuable life skills once back home."
Nikki, who lives in Edinburgh with her husband and children, also volunteers as a Beaver Scout Leader, and loves getting herself and her family outdoors. She has taken on a number of charity challenges over the years, completing the Edinburgh Marathon for us in 2014.
"It was an amazing experience running the marathon for Venture Trust in 2014- the fundraising team were really encouraging and appreciative of my efforts and I knew then it was for a great cause.
“Now, volunteering in Venture Trust’s head offices, I get to see more of where the fundraising money goes and the amazing difference the charity Trust makes to people's lives. I would heartily encourage anyone considering doing a sponsored challenge to consider doing it for Venture Trust.”
Nicola Clark, our Employability & HR Officer commented,
“Volunteers bring a unique range of skills and abilities to complement those of our fantastic staff team, and create additional capacity to develop key pieces of work. In 2016/17 volunteers contributed an incredible 890 hours to supporting our fundraising, finance and administrative functions.
“We recognise the generosity of individuals giving up their time and sharing their expertise with us, and pride ourselves on ensuring all volunteering opportunities are of value to the individual too; whether through tailored and supported inductions, providing opportunity for volunteers to attend in-house training opportunities or registering volunteers for Saltire Awards to formally acknowledge hours committed to Venture Trust.”
A huge thank you to all our volunteers, past and present, who have freely contributed their time, skills, and enthusiasm to support Venture Trust.
Upcoming opportunities include volunteer positions on our Board of Directors.
If you are interested in volunteering with Venture Trust please get in touch with Nicola on email@example.com or 0131 228 7700.