Looking ahead, in 2015-16 we aim to:
Support military veterans
This year, subject to confirmation of funding, we will launch a new ‘Positive Futures’ programme targeting support towards military early service leavers and veterans. Working in partnership, this programme will support ex-military personnel to overcome the challenges of transitioning to civilian life. By focusing on nurturing life skills such as problem solving, communication and forging positive relationships, individuals will be supported to address issues including homelessness, estrangement from family members, and overcoming alcohol and substance misuse. This programme will offer the opportunity to gain renewed purpose in civilian life, including opportunities to mentor young people and share their knowledge and experience, enabling mentors and mentees to make and sustain positive changes in their lives.
Enhance and expand our employability provision
Capitalising on success in 2014, we will expand our employability provision to deliver vocational training and qualifications. This will enable participants to progress into further training, education or jobs based in the outdoors such as construction, infrastructure, rural businesses and adventure tourism. In 2015, we aim to offer up to 20 placements working closely with sector partners to deliver a comprehensive programme of employability skills, learning, and SQA-accredited vocational qualifications. These programmes focus on building upon life skills to form the foundation blocks for job readiness. This could be utilising and encouraging leadership skills developed with peers, to listening skills or seeing a task through. All life skills can be turned into something positive with the right opportunities.
Devise new ‘needs led’ programmes
We will be proactive in nurturing partnerships in order to devise innovative pilot programmes which support individuals, and address a gap in provision. Our niche in intensive wilderness-based programmes underpinned by personal development techniques is pivotal to sustained behaviour change. Taking people out of their familiar environment, and away from peer pressure, offers participants a chance to take stock, to re-evaluate, and to see that it is possible to make positive changes to their future. We will evaluate these programmes, encouraging participants to share their experience. This will form further evidence of our impact, and the efficacy of our approach. It will also enable us to disseminate insights with stakeholders to secure further support, and influence policy and plans.
Accelerate growth of our social enterprise
Venture Mòr is now in its third year of operating Hartfield House as a Scottish Hostelling affiliate youth hostel on the Applecross peninsula, Wester Ross. During the year we will continue to invest in the fabric of the building and infrastructure to ensure the hostel offers high quality, affordable accommodation for visitors. We plan to contribute to the local community and economy by creating and sustaining local jobs. We will also launch a paid trainee programme for people facing multiple barriers to employment, enabling them to gain valuable work experience and qualifications in hospitality and outdoor adventure sectors. We will seek to generate interest and bookings for Venture Mòr’s adventure and wellbeing experiences and holidays, moving towards trading sustainably. We will achieve this through partnership working, and raising our profile through marketing and PR, both on and offline.
Be fit for purpose
Over the last three years, we have implemented a significant programme of organisational change to deliver effective and increasingly efficient services. With support from LandAid, Wooden Spoon and Clothworkers’ Foundation we will make best use of our new National Participant Centre at Stirling. This purpose-built Centre will anchor our wilderness based operations, and support participants to commence and complete this phase of their development journey. Over time, we anticipate that the Centre will offer the potential to showcase our work for partners and potential supporters, highlighting the distinctiveness and effectiveness of our personal development programmes.
This year we also plan to deliver our first leadership programme for aspiring and current managers, thereby enhancing our organisational capability and capacity, particularly in navigating an increasingly complex policy and funding environment. We are committed to ensuring that Venture Trust is adaptive and resilient to deliver our strategy.