• | News | Participant stories

    Build a Bike Graduation Event

    On Friday 31st July we celebrated the achievements of 23 Venture Trust participants who completed the Build a Bike programme.

    Four, week-long, courses supported by the Department for Work and Pensions via Job Centre Plus were run in partnership with The Bike Station - Edinburgh. Participants received support to build their confidence, motivation and employability while learning valuable hands-on vocational training in bike construction in a workshop environment. At the end of the course participants were given the chance to keep the bike they had built and also shown how to cycle safely and efficiently both in the city and off-road.

    All the participants were referred to Venture Trust after a prolonged period of unemployment, with the aim of giving them a chance to learn a new set of practical skills as well as finding out more about bikes and cycling, in a supportive group environment. Venture Trust Outreach Workers have been on hand every step of the way providing one-to-one support to participants to enable them to take their next steps into volunteering, training, work placements and employment.

    There have been a number of notable successes and inspiring stories of the tangible difference this course has made to participants’ lives, with demand for the courses and the positive outcomes far exceeding our targets for this pilot project.

    “I took part in Venture Trust's Build a Bike scheme after a long period of unemployment. I was able to learn new skills in a calm and supportive environment, and it helped my confidence knowing I could learn new things and work well with others.”

    Angus joined the course after being unemployed for over a year and when we first met him, his morale was very low. The Build a Bike programme really improved his confidence and, with the support of his Venture Trust Outreach Worker, he successfully applied for and completed a placement with one of our corporate partners. Since completing the placement he has secured full-time employment as a Systems Operator.

    “Venture Trust……supported me through a successful interview for a voluntary placement. The placement was enjoyable and interesting, and subsequently I gained paid employment. At that interview I was able to use the placement to demonstrate my ability to work and it gave me the belief to know I could do the job. Venture Trust made a great difference in my life, and its staff gave me a lot of friendly support and feedback while looking for work.”

    As well as gaining confidence and learning a new set of skills, participants have discovered how to make the most of their local environment using their bikes, both in the city and off-road. For many, this is already helping them to make cycling a part of their everyday lives, they tell us that they are more active now and that they are using their bikes to access training and employment opportunities. Developing a new interest for themselves (and their families), plus realising the sense of freedom of having their own transport is also some of the fantastic feedback we received at the event.

    The Bike Station has also generously donated a bicycle computer to each participant, to track how much mileage they clock up during the next six months and to give them hints and tips about their cycling.

    Thanks again to our partners at The Bike Station and Job Centre Plus and also to Sainsbury’s Quartermile for providing refreshments for the event. We are so pleased with the success of this innovative programme and wish all our Build a Bike graduates every success for the future!

  • | News

    Evaluation of the Next Steps Programme

    Venture Trust has commissioned SMCI Associates to evaluate the impact of the Big Lottery funded “Next Steps” programme.

    The research will enable Venture Trust and its stakeholders to understand the impact of each part of the “Next Steps” programme on the lives of participants and to what extent the programme has delivered the outcomes it set out to achieve.

    The evaluation will provide learning outcomes for Venture Trust, and other stakeholders interested in either issues surrounding reducing (re-) offending for women caught up in the criminal justice system or the use of wilderness/outdoor activities within personal and social development with vulnerable groups.

    The evaluation runs from 2015 to September 2017, and includes several elements, including a stakeholder survey which asks for your views. We would be very grateful if you would click on the link below to participate in the survey. It will take no longer than five minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

    If you have any queries about the survey, or would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Sheila Inglis, Director, SMCI Associates, phone: 07894 337317.

  • | Fundraising | News

    Grand Opening of Venture Trust National Participant Centre

    On 25 June 2015, Venture Trust opened the doors to its new National Participant Centre in Stirling. The newly refurbished building is the main hub from which critical Venture Trust work takes place.

    Venture Trust supports a wide range of young people with disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds, to get back on their feet. It does this through intensive wilderness expeditions and life skills development support, with the aim being to give the participants the tools to make positive changes in their lives. That could be anything from finding a home, gaining skills to enable them to get a job, going to college, or getting help with addiction. The new centre in Stirling will provide a base from which to operate these wilderness expeditions.

    We would like to thank LandAid, St James’s Place Foundation, Wooden Spoon and the Clothworker’s Foundation for their support with the project. Also many thanks to Glasgow Warriors and Scotland rugby player Dougie Hall, for opening the centre.

    To find out more about the people we support, our personal development and employability skills programmes and the positive impact achieved, please visit our programmes page.

    The press release about the opening event is also available here.

    We will put photos of the centre up here soon!

  • | Fundraising | News

    Vote for Venture Trust - Sainsbury's Local Charity of the year

    We are delighted to announce that Venture Trust has been shortlisted by two Sainsbury's stores to be their local charity of year:

    - Glasgow Buchanan Galleries
    - Edinburgh Quartermile

    Now we need your vote to help us win!

    If you are nearby or passing one of the stores you can pop in and vote in-store, otherwise you can cast your vote online.

    Online voting is really simple:

    1. Click on this link:

    2. Put in a postcode - G1 2GF for Glasgow, EH3 9DR for Edinburgh

    3. Select the relevant store

    4. Click on “Vote for this charity” (next to Venture Trust of course!)

    5. That’s it!

    We have previously been the chosen charity for Sainsbury's Quartermile when the team raised over £5,000 for us - a fantastic amount which we would love to try and beat this year!

    Thank you!

    If you know of a local company or shop who is looking to partner with a charity please get in touch: / 0131 228 7711.

  • | Fundraising

    A new partnership to help young people

    Venture Trust receives £100k of investment and strategic support from Impetus-PEF.

    Working in partnership, Venture Trust and Impetus-PEF are committed to improving the long-term employment and education outcomes for young people in Scotland experiencing disadvantage or living with vulnerable or chaotic circumstances.

    Impetus-PEF is a UK charity which funds and supports high potential charities and social enterprises working to improve the lives and prospects of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    We are delighted to receive the support of Impetus-PEF. This follows a rigorous assessment process of our work and impact. With this support, Venture Trust can reach more young people to gain the necessary life skills, motivation and direction to progress into work, training or education.

    To find out more about the people we support, our personal development and employability skills programmes and the positive impact achieved, please visit our programmes page.

    You can read the press release here.

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