• | News

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

    The rights of young people are at the heart of everything we do at Venture Trust. We believe that every child and young person deserves to live a happy, healthy life and to fulfil their potential. To help achieve this, we work within a child and young person’s rights-based framework which is built upon the articles defined in the UNCRC.

    What is the UNCRC?

    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the world’s most complete statement of children and young people’s rights ever produced and is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history. The convention describes the necessary conditions for a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood for every child and young person up to the age of 18.

    All children and young people have the same human rights as adults but the UNCRC affirms and articulates the significance of these rights for children and young people. Children and young people’s rights cover every aspect of their lives, and exist wherever the child or young person is: at home, at school, in any institution, and in the community.

    The UNCRC includes four general principles that are not only rights in themselves but underpin every other right in the Convention:

    - For rights to be applied without discrimination (Article 2)
    - For the best interests of the child to be a primary consideration (Article 3)
    - The right to life, survival and development (Article 6)
    - The right to express a view and have that view taken into account (Article 12)

    The UNCRC also provides children with a series of individual rights, such as the:
    - Right to a name and a nationality
    - Right to education
    - Right to health
    - Right to play and recreation
    - Right to an adequate standard of living

    There are also additional rights for specific groups of children, such as:

    - Disabled children
    - Children in custody
    - Children in care
    - Children who have been exploited or mistreated
    - Refugee or migrant children

    The UK Government ratified the Convention in 1990 and it came into law in 1992. Following ratification Governments are expected to do all they can to implement the UNCRC – to make sure all law, policy and decisions which impact on children from birth to 18 comply with their human rights.

    What does this mean for children and young people in Scotland?

    The Scottish Government wants Scotland to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up, and as a result they have taken the following key steps to help ensure all children and young people can enjoy their rights:

    The Scottish Government created the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS) in 2004 with the purpose of promoting and safeguarding the rights of children and young people in Scotland. Where a child’s rights have been protected, respected and fulfilled, their wellbeing should improve.

    Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) is Scotland’s national approach to improving the wellbeing of children and young people, and was built upon the UNCRC. At both a local and national level, the GIRFEC approach:

    - Puts the best interests of the child at the heart of decision-making
    - Takes a holistic approach to the wellbeing of a child
    - Works with children, young people and their families on ways to improve wellbeing
    - Advocates preventative work and early intervention to support children, young people and their families
    - Believes professionals must work together in the best interests of the child

    The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 embeds UNCRC rights and places key elements of GIRFEC into Scottish law. The Act ensures children and young people are at the heart of planning and service delivery and that their rights are respected across the public sector.

    For more information on the UNCRC please visit:

  • | News

    Scottish Government funding

    Venture Trust

    We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a significant grant from the Scottish Government to help fund our Living Wild programme, supporting men and women in Scotland caught up in the cycle of offending.

    The Scotland-wide programme, with match funding provided by European Social Funds, the Armed Forces Covenant, and a small number of trusts and foundations, will support 320 men and women involved in the criminal justice system. In the last five years alone, 2,218 individuals have been supported through our Community Justice services, helping them to make positive changes in their lives, enabling individuals to move away from offending.

    Working closely with established community justice partners, the programme focuses on personal development, centred around a 10 day journey through Scotland’s wilderness. Our experienced team of staff, skilled in experiential learning techniques and cognitive behavioural approaches combined with the outdoors, activity and nature all act as a catalyst for change, and allow individuals to learn life skills, break negative cycles and habits, and build confidence and motivation to address issues that lead to offending behaviour.

    Personal development starts in communities led by a Venture Trust Outreach Worker supporting individuals through one-to-one and group work. The funding enables this essential support to be in place for individuals for up to 12 months, as well as employability training and help to transfer skills and build resilience to underpin positive and sustained change.

    Amelia Morgan, Chief Executive Officer for Venture Trust, commented:

    “We are delighted to receive the support of the Scottish Government which will help us to provide what is an essential service to so many men and women caught up in the cycle of offending. Our Living Wild programme has been proven to reduce re-offending, enabling men and women to break the cycle of negative behaviours, that change is possible and to work towards greater stability, healthier and more productive lives. With this funding we will be working proactively with community justice partners to complement the range of targeted provision focused on rehabilitation and reducing offending in communities.”

    For more information about our Living Wild programme, please click here.

  • | Films | News

    Venturing into the outdoors helps veterans adjust

    Military media channel, Forces TV and BFBS Radio visited the latest Positive Futures journey on 17 February to make a short film about the work Venture Trust is doing to support veterans. The film crew spent a day talking to staff and participants, finding out about personal stories, and the personal development work which takes place during a wilderness journey. We would like to thank Forces TV/BFBS Radio for taking the time to visit and to help raise awareness of the support that is avilalbe at Venture Trust for veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life. The film is now live on the Forces TV website.

    Click here to see the short film.

  • | News

    Inspiring Young Futures Evaluation Survey

    A three year independent evaluation of our Inspiring Young Futures (IYF) Programme is underway and will report in 2019. IYF supports young people aged 16 to 21 (a small number are care experienced young people up to the age of 25) who face employability barriers and aims to help participants to reach positive destinations in employment, education, training, volunteering and to develop a stable sustainable lifestyle.

    An independent evaluation team from The Lines Between are running a survey to gather views and experiences of the programme from referrers, programme funders and other stakeholders as well as other organisations working with the target group. We would be extremely grateful if you could take part in this survey, which should take 10 minutes at most to complete. The survey is entirely confidential and you will not be asked for your name or contact details.

    To complete the survey please click on the link below.

    For further information about this evaluation or the Inspiring Young Futures programme please contact

  • | News

    Forces in Mind Trust heads into the wilderness

    Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, joined a group of veterans on a Scottish wilderness retreat as part of the our Positive Futures programme.

    The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, awarded us a grant, worth £689,453, for a three-year trial, to provide additional support to as many as 120 ex-Service men and women from across Scotland who are struggling with the transition to civilian life. The programme is available to those who are unemployed or in temporary accommodation, who struggle with low self-confidence or who have a history of drug and alcohol misuse.

    Participants are supported through a three phase programme. The first phase – referral and engagement – consists of one-to-one sessions that provide participants with advice on employment, personal development and, where appropriate, referral to partners such as drug and alcohol treatment services.

    The second phase is a specially designed ‘wilderness journey’ - a programme of personal development and learning in the outdoors with frequent one-to-one and group support sessions away from the challenges of everyday life. Over an intensive five day course, participants are given additional support to develop the transferable skills they need to rebuild their lives and move towards independence and employment. So far, 37 participants have taken part in the wilderness journeys, and anecdotal evidence has been that each group is very different from the next; the demographic is again very different from the other programmes, consisting of an older age group, and at present, very few females. These are capable people who have perhaps done demanding jobs. Their skills are already there; they just need help with redeploying them.

    Participants in the third and final phase benefit from ongoing support focused on priorities for development including funded internships, employment support and volunteer peer mentoring, particularly to support others to move forward positively with their lives.

    The impact of the project is being independently evaluated, with researchers assessing its impact on participants’ lives and whether its methodology can be extended.

    Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said:

    “It was fantastic to join eight service men [and women] under canvas at the end of their wilderness journey.

    Learning about their personal circumstances and how the programme has supported them so far is truly inspiring. The ex-Service community has a diverse range of needs and it is vitally important they have access to the right kind of support which needs to be tailored to smooth what can sometimes be a challenging transition into civilian life.

    The first year of the Positive Futures programme has just completed, and I look forward to the independent evaluation of the programme to better understand any men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, and struggle with the return to civilian life, can get the support they need.”

    Amelia Morgan, Chief Executive of Venture Trust, said: “We were delighted that Ray joined the group on the latest Positive Futures journey. This really sent a positive message of support to our participants. For all of those leaving the military, it marks a complete change. Most of those thrive, going on to have successful careers and balanced lives. But for a small minority the transition to civilian life can be overwhelming and confusing which can lead to a multitude of negative circumstances. The Positive Futures programme offers veterans the support and space to begin to see themselves differently – that they can have a different life. Many will go on to further education, training, volunteering or employment, and this is a key catalyst for positive life changes. FiMT funding of the Positive Futures programme is pivotal to supporting veterans with a commitment to maximising the positive impact for individuals, their families and wider communities across Scotland.”

    For more information about the Positive Futures programme, click here.

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