Venture Trust's Royal Mile street collection - on Friday 17th July 2012 - was a great success; collecting money for Venture Trust and raising awareness of what we do amongst festival-goers in the city.
Despite a rainy start, our cheery collectors donned fancy dress and big smiles, and headed out to drum up support. A group of our Clackmannanshire participants and staff (above) boosted the numbers after lunch, and the fantastic people at Castle Gift Shop kept us warm and dry, as well as donating the proceeds from their VT collecting tin.
We'd kindly been loaned an Olympic Torch for the day which was a big hit with passers-by, who stopped to have their picture taken with the torch in return for a donation. Many thanks to the lovely Steph Dowling for trusting her precious torch to us for the day, and to our summer Intern Emma Edwards for all her hard work organising the collection.
It was really great to see everyone out spreading the word about Venture Trust, and raising money towards our personal development programmes. To everyone who collected, and everyone who donated: thank you. You're helping someone from a difficult and disadvantaged background to make positive steps towards successful futures.
We're delighted to announce that staff and customers at Sainsbury's Quartermile in Edinburgh have chosen Venture Trust as their charity of the year.
Over the year, we’re really keen to maximise our partnership with Sainsbury’s Quartermile. We’ll be promoting our work in store, putting collection tins on tills, and asking staff and customers to get involved in our events. Keep an eye out for us in store!
We also welcome suggestions for how we can really make the most of this opportunity. If you've for an idea for an in-store fundraising event that customers would love, then don't be shy, get in touch!
Donate it to Venture Trust!
Do you have an unwanted vehicle taking up space, but you don’t want the hassle and expense of disposing of it? Venture Trust is here to help!
Venture Trust has partnered with GiveaCar to help you dispose of your unwanted vehicles in a safe, legal, and environmentally friendly way, while supporting Venture Trust’s vital work in the community.
How does it work?
It couldn’t be easier! All you need to do is contact GiveaCar on 020 0011 1664 quoting Venture Trust as your chosen charity or fill out the form online at www.giveacar.co.uk/charities/venture-trust. They will arrange for a collection agent call you in order to arrange a convenient pick-up time.
What happens next?
Your vehicle is picked up, usually between 1-3 days. It is then sent to scrap or, if road-worthy, to auction. Even if the vehicle is scrapped, Venture Trust will still receive between £40 and £160.
Donate a vehicle today by calling Giveacar on 020 0011 1664 quoting Venture Trust as your chosen charity or fill out the form online at www.giveacar.co.uk/charities/venture-trust.
Mairi Brackenridge, Chair of Venture Trust's Board of Directors, gives us her views on the challenges and opportunities for the year ahead, her motivations for getting involved, and a flavour of her experiences in Scotland's wilderness....
Mairi did ask us to make it clear that the photo to the right is her bravely tackling the Mighty Deerstalker for Venture Trust (in which she resoundingly beat the rest of the VT team!), and that she doesn't usually dress in tweed accessorised with army camouflage!
Why did you join the board at Venture Trust? What motivated you to get involved?
I have worked in social work and related fields for over 35 years. I have always been particularly interested in working with young people whose lives are challenging and when I was offered early retirement I saw it as an opportunity to continue that interest and give something back. I had also had experience of what the wilderness could offer as a way of helping people consider other options in their lives. VT seemed to fit with what I was looking for.
What’s been the biggest surprise about VT so far? Is the organisation what you expected?
I'm not sure surprised is the way to describe it, but I am impressed by the huge commitment that staff offer to their work, and continue to do that even during periods of change such as we have been through over the past year. It is very clear that the success of the organisation lies in the talented and hugely committed individuals that make up the staff.
What, in your opinion, are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing VT over the coming year?
The biggest challenge is undoubtedly the uncertain economic situation which means that budgets are under pressure. However I do believe that many people understand that we need to find different ways of engaging with disadvantaged and vulnerable people and VT offers a unique and successful way of doing that. I think the success of VT is recognised but we need to keep the message alive so that we can raise the money needed to work with people in the wildnerness. We have such good staff and their commitment impresses people and we need to make sure we continue to develop staff to keep the organisation healthy.
And on a lighter note...
What’s your favourite book, and why?
That's a challenge - I love reading and read a lot. Most recently I have read Claire Tomalin's biography of Dickens and some Swedish detective novels. I like to go back to old favourites such as Jane Austen, so choosing one is difficult. If I had to choose one I think perhaps I would take the collected works of Robert Burns - it contains everything: humour, love, commentary on society, stories, poems...... and it reminds me of my dad who introduced me to Burns when I was a little girl.
Where’s your favourite wild place in Scotland?
More difficult choices! However it would have to be Islay - we go there 2 or three times a year and in particular Saligo Bay - hearing the waves and watching the sea birds is inspirational - even in the rain.
What’s your most bizarre experience so far in life?
It relates to Islay - my husband and I got married there 5 years ago - we kept it quiet and didn't tell anyone, my sister was my witness but didn't know until the day of the wedding what was happening - our reception was sitting on the rocks at Saligo Bay in the pouring rain eating a piece of cake and having a whisky to celebrate - some people would think we were mad!!
When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to work with people but not be a teacher. I thought about being a lawyer but decided against it so I became a social worker - I think it was meant to be.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I overuse the word actually - I try hard not to do so - but actually it's difficult!
You’re about to be marooned on a desert island... Which three items would you take with you?
A book, some paint and paper - so that I could learn to draw - and a survival blanket.
Which famous person (dead or alive) would you most like to be stuck there with?
...and you can't say fairer than that!
We did it! On Saturday 17th March, a committed team of 25 fearless runners successfully tackled the Mighty Deerstalker event in Peebles, to raise money for Venture Trust.
Collectively raising over £2,000 to support Scots from difficult and disadvantaged backgrounds, Our intrepid runners tackled obstacles including cargo nets, balance beams and river crossings – not to mention wading through copious amounts of mud.
Our fabulous supporters travelled from across the country to be there (special mention to the four runners from RGU:RAG who travelled down from Aberdeen the morning of the event), and everyone dressed to the nines in their finest tweed, tartan, flat-caps and waistcoats, all topped off with Venture Trust-themed face paint. As the 5k runners returned tired and dirty from their epic adventure, the 10k runners battled on into the falling darkness, scrambling up scree slopes lit only by their head torches. No effort was spared, and the months of training, fundraising and preparation paid off as every one of the team successfully crossed the finish line.
It was absolutely fantastic to see so many runners getting involved in this brilliant event to support Venture Trust. The money our runners raised equates to almost 200 hours of one-to-one support to help young people in Scotland work towards more positive futures. As one of Venture Trust’s first fundraising events it’s been great to see such an enthusiastic turn-out, and a massive thank you to all our runners, bucket-shakers and supporters for helping make it such a successful day. Many thanks also to Walkers Shortbread, Hobbycraft Edinburgh and Tunnock's for their fab support.
We even made it onto Radio 2's drivetime show on Friday evening! You can listen to the clip here.
We’re looking forward to getting involved in more extreme challenges in 2012 – helping give a life-changing opportunity to young people who’ve been in care, have struggled with homelessness, or are struggling to make the transition to adulthood.
See you there?