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Riding the Right Path - Oscar's Story

Oscar lost his 17-year-old sister to a drug overdose.

The trauma and challenges he faced following this “knocked him off his path”.

He turned to alcohol to cope with the pain and sadness. He almost ended up in the criminal justice system through anti-social behaviour. He also began suffering from isolation and a loss of confidence and motivation.

The chance to turn his life around came when Oscar was referred to Venture Trust and he began a series of programmes for young people offered by the organisation. One of these programmes is the Inspiring Young Futures programme which supports young people facing multiple and complex challenges in their life. The programme offers regular community-based outreach support wrapped around an 8-day Wilderness Journey usually in the highlands of Scotland. Through intensive learning and personal development individuals will consolidate their new skills, boost confidence, motivation and aspirations.

Inspiring Young Futures is designed for young people aged 16-25, struggling with a range of challenging circumstances

Many of the young people who complete the Inspiring Young Futures programme are then signposted to our employability programme – CashBack Change Cycle.

The CashBack Change Cycle programme is funded by the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them to deliver activities and opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

The elements of the programme include employability sessions, bike construction and maintenance including workshop experience and a short wilderness residential that has work-related tasks, and biking. Participants learn about responsibility and getting up to be at a job Monday to Friday. They get to keep the bike they have built and use it for job hunting, accessing services, training, getting to work, and leisure.

Oscar excelled on the course. He is now in college and the skills he developed on the CashBack Change Cycle programme has allowed him to get a job in a bicycle workshop.

“I am doing something I love, and my life is back on the right path”.

Watch Oscars story – Riding the Right Path

Riding to success with Cashback for Communities:

In the first two years of the CashBack Change Cycle programme Venture Trust has:

• Worked across 17 Scottish local authorities

• Engaged 116 young people facing complex life challenges

Of the participants who completed the programme over the two years:

• 91% of participants have reported an increase in their confidence

• 94% of participants have reported an increase in skills

• 98% participants have achieved accredited learning

• 81% of participants across the programme’s two years have reported an increase in wellbeing

• 65% of participants have moved into positive destinations including employment, education and training

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