From Monday 23 March 2020, all Venture Trust support staff will be working with people offering tailored support by phone or digital platforms. Prior to the Coronavirus emergency, we were actively supporting 379 people. Our goal is to continue to support them and to help others.
We will use phone or digital contact channels to continue to check in with people, to provide personal development and wellbeing support, whilst getting their feedback on the types of help and support that might make the difference. We are also actively seeking support to combat ‘data poverty’ for people with limited means to buy airtime or who usually rely on public wi-fi.
The new reality of reduced social contact, self-isolation and disruption of services will have a disproportionate effect on people who were already in need of our support. We are using our expertise in personal development and coaching to support people, offering help with:
- Wellbeing – managing being at home, structure, routines and relationships with others.
- Dealing with social isolation – resilience and self-care, helpful resources. Signposting to local and national support and additional services.
- Personal development – we will continue to work on meta skills development, self-awareness and goal setting with additional support aimed at those looking for further training and progression to employment.
Ways of working
Today we have contacted all our delivery partners to update them and to confirm we are still supporting people and very happy to take new referrals. We will have a team of 27 personal development and employability skilled and experienced staff available and engaging with people.
More information on our support will be available online and via our usual phone numbers and contacts.
For referrals the contact form is available on our website here.
We will continually monitor the situation and provide regular updates via our website, social media and direct contact with partners.
We remain committed to adapting and developing our work to meet the changing needs of vulnerable people in a rapidly evolving environment. Working together with partners we would like share insights and contribution to solutions which help us all respond well and be resilient in recovery. Please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the growing impacts of coronavirus continue to affect more people across the UK, protecting the health and wellbeing of the people we support, and our staff, is our top priority.
In response to the latest developments announced on March 18 by the Scottish Government, Venture Trust is temporarily suspending all programmes in their current form, and in response to COVID-19, will deliver a different service, our dedicated and skilled staff will be offering bespoke support over phone or video platforms – whichever individuals can access.
Our priorities are to continue to support people as the most vulnerable members of our society in a way that is safe, helpful and in line with all Government advice and regulations.
- We will continue to take referrals from our partners with the aim of resuming normal operational procedures once the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) has passed and we are given the all clear to resume our face-to-face work supporting those in need.
- From Monday 23 March, we are pausing all face-to-face contact between our staff and participants until further notice from government and health authorities.
- Our staff will check in with people, provide personal development and wellbeing support, whilst getting their feedback on the types of help and support that might make the difference. We will use phone, messaging and other digital media to build relationships.
- We will be offering and delivering specific support for people around coronavirus and self-isolation and a significant change of usual routine.
- You will still be able to get in touch with the Venture Trust team by phone or email during business hours.
Our social media channels will be regularly updated, so please check our Facebook, Twitter and website pages for further news. Scottish Government information about COVID-19 (coronavirus) can be found here.
We will also keep our policies under constant review and update with relevant Government advice.
Venture Trust has been awarded an £10,000 grant from the Scottish Children’s Lottery to support its work with young people.
The grant from the Scottish Children’s Lottery will help fund two Outreach Workers in the West of Scotland supporting young people referred to our programmes. Our programmes of personal development reach young people in Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Edinburgh & the Lothians and Dundee who are living in complex and chaotic situations.
Outreach Workers have wide-ranging experience, professional training and qualifications in youth work and counselling as well as working with vulnerable people including in social care, custodial care, community justice and behavioural therapy.
Through one-to-one support and intensive personal development, they help young people reflect on the changes they would like to make to their lives, and help them unlock their confidence, motivation and life skills.
Amelia Morgan, chief executive at Venture Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful for the funding from the Scottish Children’s Lottery, which will be used to support young people in Scotland’s west.
"The grant will allow us to reach those who are struggling with chaotic life circumstances such as homelessness, abuse, isolation, substance misuse and involvement in the criminal justice system.
"Our experienced team of staff will assist them to gain life skills, work-readiness, a sense of purpose and to work towards making positive life changes.”
The Scottish Children's Lottery was launched in October 2016 to raise money for children in Scotland, with proceeds helping to improve the lives of children right across the country and make a real difference to those who need it most.
Chance to Succeed operates as a society lottery under the Scottish Children’s Lottery and supports projects that focus on employability and employment skills, helping to deliver a productive future for our young people.
Ken Barclay who is Chair of Trustees for the Scottish Children’s Lottery said: “I am delighted that we have been able to provide funding to support young people on your programmes from the monies generated from the Scottish Children’s Lottery which was established to promote and support the development and potential of children and young people in Scotland.
"Thank you to those who play the Scottish Children’s Lottery; you are helping to support the great work that our charities undertake.”
British middle-distance champion Laura Muir dropped in to meet a group of young people from Venture Trust’s Inspiring Young Futures programme as part of Sport Relief 2020.
Sport has the amazing power to challenge and motivate people to see themselves differently and aspire to a better life.
At Venture Trust – with funding from Comic Relief – we are using the power of sport and outdoor activities, alongside intensive personal development, to help young people reach their potential.
The programme is for 16-25-year-olds whose chaotic backgrounds have led to them experience many complex issues. These include homelessness or being at risk of homelessness, long term unemployment, involvement in criminal justice systems, substance misuse, low self-belief, relationship breakdowns and mental health issues.
We know that having and sustaining a safe, stable and secure place to live is vital for people to overcome many of the other barriers they are facing. Our own research shows of those presenting as homeless across our programmes 59 per cent have been previously convicted, 58 per cent have mental health issues and 52 per cent have substance misuse issues.
The Inspiring Young Futures programme combines intensive and sustained support in a young person’s community with time and activities in Scotland’s wild places. It is designed to equip participants with core skills, to build longer term stability and avert repeat or potential episodes of homelessness. This will help them to overcome the other challenges they are dealing with.
For many young people this is their first time in the outdoors or away from the pressures of everyday life. The excitement of experiencing and achieving something completely new, is motivational, enabling them to reflect, plan and make meaningful life changes.
Adventure activities in a wilderness setting is a catalyst for change. In an unfamiliar setting, young people must rely on each other, build trust and develop strong positive relationships. Every activity is specifically designed to help them work towards their personal development. Hiking and abseiling encourage the overcoming of fear and anxiety, it builds trust and encourages the giving and receiving of feedback within the group. Canoeing allows participants to take responsibility for their boats and safety while working effectively in a group or team to navigate lochs and rivers.
Following her visit, Laura said: “It was an absolute honour for me to visit Venture Trust in support of Sport Relief. I witnessed first-hand the amazing work this organisation is doing for communities and young people in Edinburgh. I have grown up with Sport Relief and it’s great to see the work it helps to make possible.”
Venture Trust chief executive officer Amelia Morgan said: “It was brilliant to have Laura take time from her Tokyo 2020 preparations to meet some of the young people we support. Her achievements and determination to pursue her dreams will inspire our participants to reach their potential.
“We want everyone to enjoy better mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. With support from partners like Comic Relief, tackling social isolation, the underlying causes of alcohol or drug misuse or the stress of living in poor quality, temporary or insecure housing, is possible.”
Together with Comic Relief, we are working for a more equal and fairer Scotland for young people. We want to ensure they have a safe place to be, they can survive and thrive, that fear, violence and discrimination in their lives is reduced and to improve their mental health.
This International Women’s Day, we will be celebrating the achievements and inspiring journeys of the women we support on our programmes and our female staff working in our offices, Scottish communities and wild places of Scotland.
This year on March 8 the theme is “An equal world is an enabled world”.
We are proud to be led by a female CEO, we have women in leadership and management positions across our departments including outdoor training, community outreach, administration and board.
Through our programmes of personal development supporting women of all ages struggling with issues such as long-term unemployment, recovery from addiction, homelessness, isolation, involvement in the criminal justice system in Scotland, and a history of trauma or harm, we are challenging inequality for individuals and their communities.
As an organisation we are also challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions, improving situations and celebrating women's achievements.
Here are some of the stories from the amazing women we have supported to realise or rediscover their unshakable strength, a voice that deserves to be heard, and power.
Lucy spent ten years addicted to heroin. during this time, she was also convicted of theft and lost her son to care. Her life had hit rock bottom.
Today Lucy is completing a college course and looking to go to university. She is drug free and out of the criminal justice system. And she has access to her son.
Read More: Lucy’s story
Annabelle’s alcohol addiction took her to many dark places: attempted suicide, psychiatric care, hurt family and friends, and her two daughters taken away.
Today Annabelle has her girls back, they have moved into a beautiful home. She has the respect of family and friends, a job that she loves and she is happy and healthy.
Read more: Annabelle’s story