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  • | 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

  • | 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: https://www.cypcs.org.uk/rights

  • | 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.

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