Historic Perthshire was the setting for an innovative new partnership between Venture Trust and Historic Environment Scotland (HES) that saw a group of vulnerable women exploring and understanding the past in order to move towards a better future.
Photo Credit: Historic Environment Scotland
Understanding Our Place in Time – funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund - combines historic and heritage themes with Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme which supports women involved in offending or at high risk of offending, suffering from trauma or abusive relationships, facing homelessness, misuse of drugs or alcohol or other challenging life circumstances.
The personal development programme is made up of three-phases one of which involves getting women into the outdoors. This is preceded by one-to-one support followed with ongoing skills development in the community. HES and Venture Trust staff will work together to weave heritage and the historic environment throughout the programme.
For many Next Steps participants life has been filled with chaos, fear and anxiety. Engaging in history and getting outdoors is often the furthest thing from their minds or is not possible in their current situation.
During the five-day outdoor residential phase in Perthshire, while hiking, abseiling, and canoeing the group of women learnt history isn’t just about their past, it is a vital part of all their lives, right now. It tells about the past, the present – and even points the way to the future. The historic environment makes a real difference to people’s lives. A difference to health, economy, culture and environment.
Reaching out to touch the ancient stone wall of Dunkeld’s ruined cathedral, drifting on Loch Faskally to learn about an old hydro-electric power station and hearing and creating their own tales and myths the women saw the historic environment, connected with it, created it, understood it and explored it. Something they will be able to continue to do in everyday life.
Venture Trust head of operations Mike Strang said:
“A connection to our heritage is important, as it brings us closer to our land, brings an insight into what has been there before and our roots. It teaches us what we need to do to safeguard for future generations. Understanding our heritage also builds connection with our communities and society creating bonds and contributors.
“We are delighted to be able to work with HES to build heritage into our Next Steps programme.”
HES senior casework officer James Turner said:
“Using Venture Trust’s outdoor learning approach, and Historic Environment Scotland’s mission to widen opportunities for everyone to understand, enjoy, and connect with the historic environment, we greatly welcomed the opportunity to work with the participants of this project.
“We visited Dunkeld Cathedral to consider how the historic environment can offer a valuable resource and breathing space from day to day life, took a canoe trip on Loch Faskally to chat about the B-listed 1950 Clunie hydro-electric power station and its place in the landscape, and rounded up our involvement with a session discussing local folklore, ballads and storytelling.
“We hope we have been able to show that the past can make a better future, change lives for the better, make us feel happier, more informed, better connected, and to encourage all of us to get outdoors and active.”
Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland Caroline Clark said:
“The National Lottery Heritage Fund encourages organisations working in heritage to approach and engage with others who have broader health and wellbeing aims. Understanding Our Place in Time: Women at risk of offending discovering their place in heritage is a fine example of organisations working together, helping individuals to be more active and have a positive impact on their wellbeing.”
The Next Steps programme in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Our Inspiring Young Futures programmes allows young people to realise their potential.
With the support of funders like The Robertson Trust, the three-phase personal development programme allows young people to discover that there are strengths that they didn't think they had, draw on aspects of their background and personality to solve problems.
Other key skills include communication, time management, accountability, establishing trust, dealing with challenging situations, and giving and receiving feedback.
Our approach is preventative and long-term. We focus on an individual’s strengths, equipping them with essential life-skills and building confidence.
Together, we can tackle a cycle of harm and inequality which leaves some people in the margins of society. With the sustained support and new skills, young people are moving towards further education, training and work.
Watch the video below to find out more about this wonderful partnership that is changing young people's lives:
To achieve thier mission of improving the quality of life and realising the potential of people and communities in Scotland, The Robertson Trust focus on four high-level outcomes:
- improving outcomes for individuals and communities
- improving capacity of third sector organisations to deliver impact to their beneficiaries
- building and using evidence to inform policy and practice
- developing our own understanding of our role as a funder.
They do this by:
- funding and supporting charitable organisations of all sizes who are committed to achieving positive change for individuals and communities across Scotland
- building understanding of the root causes of problems and testing potential approaches and solutions
- supporting talented young people who may face barriers to education and development
Welcome to our July newsletter.School holidays might have come - summer unfortunately has not. Yet despite the wet weather and cooler temperatures, we continues to deliver our intensive personal development programmes in communities and in the wilderness. This weather certainly encourages the development of consequential thinking, if you don’t put your waterproofs on, you’re going to get wet...This month, read about our work to improve participants’ employability, a funding announcement, and a couple of great opportunities to get personally involved in supporting Venture Trust.Removing barriers and inequalitiesBoosting young people into workFraser Taylor, our Employability Co-ordinator, recently shared his experience of previously being out of work and the struggles he faced. Today Fraser co-ordinates Venture Trust’s employability programmes which support young people develop the confidence, skills and motivation to make positive life changes.During our employability programmes individuals learn how to develop a CV, make job applications, and prepare for an interview. They are supported to identify the next step that is right for them, whether that be education, training, volunteering or employment.Read Fraser’s full account in the Scotsman, hereClosing the attainment gapWorking together to support disadvantaged young peopleResearch from our funding partner Impetus has shown that in the UK disadvantaged young people are twice as likely to be out of education, employment and training as their better-off peers.Venture Trust, with organisations like Impetus, are working to close the attainment gap. We support those struggling with many and complex issues, outside mainstream support and unemployed, or who may have never been in employment. This hinders their life chances and future potential. Our approach is preventative and long-term. We focus on an individual’s strengths, equipping them with essential life-skills and building confidence. Together, we can tackle a cycle of harm and inequality which leaves some people in the margins of society.Zurich Community Trust provides supportGrant made towards Cashback Change Cycle in GlasgowVenture Trust is pleased to announce it has recieved support from the Zurich Community Trust. These valuable funds will go directly towards providing personalised support for young people in Glasgow taking part in our Cashback Change Cycle programmes.The decision to award the grant was made by the Zurich Community Trust’s local grants Glasgow committee, following donations by Zurich employees and matched by the Zurich Community Trust.Thanks again to the Zurich Community Trust for their support.A Cashback Change Cycle course is currently underway in Glasgow. It also runs in Edinburgh where the next course is set to start on 19 August 2019. Click here to find out more.Saddle up and cycle for Venture Trust8 September 2019: Pedal For Scotland“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
~Albert EinsteinIf you agree with Einstein (or even if you don't) you may want to join in biggest pedal power event in Scotland of 2019 - more than 6,000 cyclists took part in 2018. In fact, what are you waiting for? This year will be your last chance to take part in this iconic Glasgow-Edinburgh closed-road cycle, as Pedal For Scotland will evolve into inclusive, free, local events across Scotland from 2020.Ian Patterson, one of our Funding & Contracts Officers (the cyclist in red, above), has taken part in the event an extraordinary 6 times and is doing it again this year! Here's what he told us,"It’s not a race, it’s a fun, if sometimes, hard challenge, made more enjoyable because the others doing it are just a wide range of people, who are taking part because it’s a challenge from which they can make money for the charity of their choice. The atmosphere throughout the event is amazing from start to finish, adding to the fun during the ride and the sense of achievement when you finish."Click here to find out moreKiltwalk: a Scottish flavoured eventSunday 15 SeptemberThe Kiltwalk is a unique Scottish charity event which raised more than £5 million in 2018 - a sponsored walk that includes all abilities and is a great day out for all the family too.This year, led by our CEO Amelia, Team Venture Trust will be taking part for the first time. Come and lend us your support.If you are looking to do 10,000 steps in a day the Wee Wander is for you, coming in at around 11,250 steps. If 10,000 steps is already within your comfort zone you can work towards the Big Stroll at around 35,000 steps, or even the Mighty Stride at around 54,000 steps - close to a walking marathon. All routes make their way through Edinburgh and come together to finish in one big celebration at Murrayfield stadium.In addition, this year one lucky walker will win a brand new Vauxhall Corsa!Find more about the Kiltwalk and how to register hereDonate to our cause at www.justgiving.com/venturetrust
“You’re looking a bit cocky.” The steward remarked.
“Do you want to climb over the railing and go straight over the side?” (The other abseil participants were edging themselves down gently through a gap).
“Sure, I’ll go over the side,” Judie told him.
“I’ve done this before”
Judie tried abseiling when she attended a Next Steps course in Spring 2018, she immediately wanted to go back up and do it again, so completing The Forth Bridge Abseil Challenge for Venture Trust was a natural progression.
“Venture Trust took me away on Personal Development courses to help me to prepare better for the future and to help me manage situations better. I really enjoyed my experience and saw parts of Scotland I had never seen before. I would like to do my bit to put something back to give others the opportunity.”
The big day came earlier this month.
“I wasn’t scared at all,” Judie recalled.
“All I could think was I’m gonna do this, let’s do this. Once off the ledge my first thought was let’s take it slow so I can take in the views and so my friend could get some decent pictures. You feed the rope through your hands at your own pace, so you can go down in less than a minute or take three or four. It was towards the end of the day and I noticed the clouds were gathering. It was going to rain soon and there was a wee breeze and I was turning gently around. I remember the music playing was Sweet Home Alabama and that felt great. As soon as my feet hit the ground I wanted to do it all again. It was a great day out and I really enjoyed spending time in Queensferry which had a brilliant atmosphere”
Judie found the sponsorship aspects of the challenge a little more daunting as she felt unsure about approaching people to support her. Did she succeed as a fundraiser? Totally, Judie smashed this target out of the park too and her total currently stands at over £250 and still rising.
What was Judie’s fundraising strategy?
“I told everyone I knew that I was abseiling for Venture Trust. A lot of people I asked do not have much money but they gave what they could with many people giving £1 or £2. An old man apologised because he could only afford to give me £1. I told him it doesn’t matter if its £1 it’s all gonna help. I went round all the people I know at Access to Industry, Willow, Street Fit and I asked in my local pub. The Landlord told people about the abseil and collected sponsorship for me and that meant I was raising money even though I wasn’t there myself. “
And does Judie have the challenge event bug now? Next Sunday she is running on behalf of Street Fit at Portobello. Go Judie.
If you’d like to complete a challenge for Venture Trust we’d love to hear from you and we are especially delighted to hear from our participants and their friend and families.
Take part in Pedal for Scotland or join Team Venture Trust at The Edinburgh Kiltwalk in September.
Find out more at: Rise to the Challenge for Venture Trust
Or contact Alison at: email@example.com or 0131 228 7711.
Read All About It.
It’s that time again! In this May edition of the Supporter Newsletter you will see just how busy everyone at Venture Trust has been over the last month.
From news articles, presentations to The Scottish Government and miles under the feet training for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival catch up on the latest happenings.
If want to be kept up to date about Venture Trust's activities sign up for our supporter newsletter on our website.