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  • | News

    Starting young at Venture Trust

    Venture Trust really is putting its money where its mouth is, and supporting personal development, learning, education and training - even in those still at school!

    A recent addition to the Venture Trust team was Amelia Whistance Holmes, just 14 years old and looking to learn more about the charity sector, and the work that Venture Trust undertakes to help people at the very edges of society. Amelia was on work experience from Plockton High School in the Highlands, shadowing her mother, Jess Whistance, and learning about Communications and Marketing, as well as how Venture Trust charity operates, and the programmes that it runs.

    Amelia comments, "There is a lot more to Venture Trust than I thought. The work it is doing to help people who are struggling with really difficult things in life, is amazing. The programmes that take people out into the outdoors and teach them about working together, and new skills, is such a great way of making things interesting and at the same time is helping to change lives. I learnt so much. I don't think I want to go into marketing and communications like my mum as I realised that there was a lot more research and emails and spending time on the phone organising things than I expected. Even setting up a story for television was not as interesting as I imagined - there was a lot of time spent writing notes and changing plans, and preparing people - not very glamourous!"

    Amelia was tasked with researching ways to raise the profile of Venture Trust and its programmes to different audiences, sourcing new publications and digital resources. She was also tasked with looking at Venture Mor, the growing social enterprise that works to provide a sustainable income for Venture Trust programmes.

    Jess Whistance, Communications & Marketing Manager at Venture Trust commented, "It was great having Millie working with me. It was a chance for me to show her the really crucial work that goes on at Venture Trust, and to show her what it is that I do. She was really inspired by Venture Trust, and how they support people to change their lives - how can you not be? But my job? I am not sure I will be seeing Millie following in my PR footsteps any time soon!"

    For more information about Venture Trust's programmes, please click here.

  • | Fundraising | News

    Sainsbury's Local Charity of the Year 2017 nominations

    We're delighted to have been shortlisted again this year in Sainsbury's stores across Glasgow and Edinburgh to be their charity of the year.

    Since 2009 Sainsbury’s stores have each selected a Charity of the Year to partner with, to date raising over £13 million for charities. Most recently we were chosen charity for Sainsbury’s Local at Quartermile Edinburgh, which raised over £3,000 for the work of Venture Trust, and would love to partner with more stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the coming year.

    We’ve been shortlisted by 14 Sainsbury’s Local stores, and now we need your vote to help us win!

    The stores in Glasgow are:

    Killermont Street (G2 3LD), Queen Street (G1 3DS), Sauchiehall Street (G2 3EX), Trongate (G2 8AH), Byres Road (G11 5JY) and Novar Drive (G12 9PU).

    In Edinburgh, we’re shortlisted at:

    Howe Street (EH3 6TG), Stockbridge (EH4 1LR), Shandwick Place (EH2 4RT), Bruntsfield Place (EH10 4DG), Dundee Street (EH11 1AW), Waverley Steps (EH1 1BQ), West Port (EH3 9DR) and Quartermile (EH3 9GG).

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

    Online voting is really simple:

    1. Click on this link: https://www.sainsburyslocalcharity.co.uk

    2. Enter your selected postcode

    3. Select the relevant store

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

    5. If you want to vote for us in more than one store, refresh your page and enter another postcode.

    5. That’s it!

    Thank you!

  • | Fundraising | News

    Volunteers' Week 2017

    Today marks the end of Volunteers’ Week Scotland (1-7 June 2017), which has seen charities celebrate the vital contribution made by volunteers the length and breadth of the country – the work of volunteers contributes an estimated £2.6 billion every year to the Scotland.

    Nikki has been volunteering with the funding team at our Edinburgh office for two days a week since September 2016, and has made a great contribution to our fundraising efforts, particularly focussing on making applications to Trusts & Foundations. As someone who has a love of the outdoors and a desire to help people negotiate difficult life situations, she told us,

    "I’m very much drawn to the ethos and values of the Venture Trust. I’m inspired by how the charity combines lessons and values that can be gained by wilderness challenges with very practical, valuable life skills once back home."

    Nikki, who lives in Edinburgh with her husband and children, also volunteers as a Beaver Scout Leader, and loves getting herself and her family outdoors. She has taken on a number of charity challenges over the years, completing the Edinburgh Marathon for us in 2014.

    "It was an amazing experience running the marathon for Venture Trust in 2014- the fundraising team were really encouraging and appreciative of my efforts and I knew then it was for a great cause.

    “Now, volunteering in Venture Trust’s head offices, I get to see more of where the fundraising money goes and the amazing difference the charity Trust makes to people's lives. I would heartily encourage anyone considering doing a sponsored challenge to consider doing it for Venture Trust.”

    Nicola Clark, our Employability & HR Officer commented,

    “Volunteers bring a unique range of skills and abilities to complement those of our fantastic staff team, and create additional capacity to develop key pieces of work. In 2016/17 volunteers contributed an incredible 890 hours to supporting our fundraising, finance and administrative functions.

    “We recognise the generosity of individuals giving up their time and sharing their expertise with us, and pride ourselves on ensuring all volunteering opportunities are of value to the individual too; whether through tailored and supported inductions, providing opportunity for volunteers to attend in-house training opportunities or registering volunteers for Saltire Awards to formally acknowledge hours committed to Venture Trust.”

    A huge thank you to all our volunteers, past and present, who have freely contributed their time, skills, and enthusiasm to support Venture Trust.

    Upcoming opportunities include volunteer positions on our Board of Directors.

    If you are interested in volunteering with Venture Trust please get in touch with Nicola on nicola@venturetrust.org.uk or 0131 228 7700.

  • | News

    Venture Trust signs Scotland’s second Sustainable Growth Agreement with SEPA

    Venture Trust became the second organisation to sign a Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with SEPA on Thursday (25 May). The event took place at our National Participation Centre in Stirling, and showed a commitment to helping create environmental success which also delivers social and economic benefits for Scotland.

    Sustainable Growth Agreements are voluntary, formal agreements with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA); a core component of the delivery of SEPA’s Regulatory Strategy, One Planet Prosperity.

    The commitments in the SGA with Venture Trust will help to develop new ways of working collaboratively with SEPA, to provide support for people in society who are marginalised, vulnerable and living chaotic lifestyles. Through a number of empowering initiatives, including opportunities to experience work and move towards employment, the goal is to break a cycle of disadvantage.

    In the longer term, the SGA aims to instil a strong connection with the health and well-being benefits of a robust environment by developing bespoke programmes with SEPA, and potentially other partners, with the aim of delivering a strong focus on environmental outcomes.

    The launch event included short speeches from SEPA’s Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn and our Chief Executive Officer, Amelia Morgan, stressing the importance of working in partnership to generate multiple benefits, contributing to Scotland’s socio-economic and environmental prospects.

    Terry A’Hearn, said:

    “In the 21st century we are faced with a world dominated by problems which affect each and every one of us, but we also recognise that our environment underpins our social and economic success. So we need to find ways to create environmental success in ways which also deliver social and economic benefits. This Sustainable Growth Agreement with Venture Trust is a great example of how SEPA can bring environment, society and economy together to create real and lasting benefits for the people of Scotland.”

    Amelia Morgan, said:

    “We are delighted to be working with SEPA; the Sustainable Growth Agreement will enable us to partner with other like-minded organisations that can offer a wealth of benefit to those people that we support through our personal development programmes. This is a significant step in collaboration, to provide employment, training and volunteering opportunities for those who, through difficult life circumstances, find themselves in chaotic and vulnerable situations. Combining social and environmental objectives in order to provide benefit and opportunity for those who need it most, is something we are eager to embark upon. We look forward to getting started on this exciting venture!”

    The full SGA document signed by SEPA and Venture Trust, is available here.

    If any businesses are interested in finding out more about working in partnership with Venture Trust please contact Kate at kate@venturetrust.org.uk or 0131 228 7700.

  • | News

    Employability Fund - West Lothian

    We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a contract funded by Skills Development Scotland to deliver Stage 2 of the Employability Fund in West Lothian. The Employability Fund supports young people (aged 16-24) to gain work experience to improve their chances of moving into a job, further training or college.

    Who’s it for?

    Skills Development Scotland are funding places on our Inspiring Young Futures programme for referrals in West Lothian which is designed for young people aged 16-21 (with a small number of care-experienced young people up to 25), facing one or more of the following issues:

    - Care-experienced background

    - Involvement in offending / anti-social behaviour

    - History of substance misuse

    - Homelessness

    - Low academic achievement

    - Fragmented family relationships

    - Early stage social work involvement

    The programme includes community-based support: participants benefit from a dedicated one-to-one worker before and after embarking on an 8-day wilderness journey in Scotland. Ongoing support enables participants to consolidate their new skills, boost confidence, motivation and aspirations, and reach out to other local opportunities such as education, employment and training. Clients will receive a £55 training allowance for taking part in the course, if a client is on a DWP Benefit they will be supported to find the best solution so they aren’t negatively disadvantaged.

    For more information, to make a referral or to apply please contact our Edinburgh Hub Co-ordinator Mary Taylor: employabilityfund@venturetrust.org.uk

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