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Next Steps secures funding from Scottish Government

Venture Trust is pleased to announce that it has been awarded Scottish Government funding for its Next Steps women’s programme.

The grant has been secured to help Venture Trust maintain the service’s availability for2018/19. The funds will allow even more vulnerable women - who've been involved in offending or at high risk of offending – to access help and get the support they need to make positive changes to their lives.

Venture Trust CEO Amelia Morgan welcomed the funding announcement:

“This endorsement reflects and validates the impact of the programme. By continuing to deliver a high quality and transformational programme, we can help even more women from getting caught up in the criminal justice system.”

Next Steps is helping women to break the cycle of reoffending. Individuals on the programme have succeeded in making and sustaining positive changes in their lives. Many have shown increased self-confidence; improved employability skills; improved behaviours and circumstances likely to reduce risks of reconviction. There is evidence that they have improved their relationships with those around them, and are making increased use of services and opportunities in their community such as libraries, gyms or doctors’ surgeries.

The funding announcement comes on top of the recently released independent evaluation findings for the Next Steps programme.

Our three year study shows that the Next Steps programme has the power to change women’s lives:

• More than half of all women who completed the Next Steps wilderness journey went on to achieve at least one ‘positive destination’ (education, employment, training or volunteering)

• Two thirds of women showed improvements in relation to stability and reduced likelihood of reoffending

• 8 out of 10 showed increased employability skills and self-confidence

• Participants and stakeholders praised the programme

A copy of the executive summary can be found here.

Venture Trust would also like to acknowledge the vital support from a range of funding partners for the Next Steps programme and evaluation over the last 3 years, including the Big Lottery Fund (primary programme funder 2014-17), European Social Funds, City of Edinburgh Council, Porticus UK, the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, as part of the SHINE Mentoring Service, and a number of other trusts and foundations. Thanks also to key delivery partners within the SHINE family and Move On.

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