Venture Trust's programmes work
“Venture Trust’s programmes are not easy, nor are they quick fixes. But if I have learned one thing, from years of working with this very special organisation, it is this: Venture Trust’s programmes work."
- Sheriff David N Mackie (Former Chairman)
We've developed an extensive monitoring framework, which helps us to build up an accurate picture of the progress made by our participants. It allows us to measure the effectiveness of our programmes, and also acts as a 'record of achievement' for our participants.
Last year's highlights
In 2017-18, we said we would:
Support military veterans
Venture Trust’s Positive Futures programme is for individuals who have left the armed forces and have struggled with the transition to civilian life. The programme is enabling individuals to unlock or re-deploy the confidence, motivation and range of vital life-skills they need to move forward positively in civilian life. Since the programme launch in late 2015-16, more than 100 veterans have received support, following referrals by 35 different agencies across 23 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. Those referred faced issues such as unemployment, offending histories, mental health concerns, history of alcohol issues and unstable living situations. This confirms Venture Trust is reaching those most in need. More than 20 veterans have already progressed into employment, education, training or voluntary work, including three taking up paid traineeships within Venture Trust. Interim findings from external evaluation work suggest that the programme is achieving “profound and long lasting” impacts.
Expand our employability, training and internship provision
Our employability programmes are supporting more disadvantaged and socially excluded individuals in Scotland, with the 3-year grant funding commitment from CashBack for Communities (monies generated from the proceeds of crime). We also scaled up delivery of employability sessions to enhance participants’ opportunities to progress towards training, education, volunteering or employment. This work included delivery of the Reaching Higher pre-employability programme for care experienced young people; the Venture Together programme delivered and sponsored with our key partner Barclays; an increased volume of Speak Up group work sessions and hosting a range of paid traineeships. Despite the challenging economic climate, we continued to increase the number of participants overcoming multiple barriers to achieve positive destinations in employment, education, training or volunteering during the year.
Invest in our staff
During 2017/18 an organisation-wide staff gathering was held plus three field and outreach team training sessions. These opportunities to build relationships and collaborate with colleagues are highly valued by the staff team, and as such another full staff Gathering is planned for September 2018. 2017/18 saw the approval and implementation of a Developing People strategy and plan. Learning and development opportunities for staff included; one day workshops on equality and diversity for outreach and field teams; child protection training both specifically for designated Child Protection Officers and more generally outreach and field staff; two Reality Therapy/Choice Theory programmes for outreach and field teams delivered in partnership with Princes Trust; a workshop on sectarianism for delivery staff; full First Aid refresher training and sessions on disability and inclusion and drug awareness for wilderness journey teams. Four members of the outreach team also began their SQA Assessor training, with qualification expected in summer 2018, boosting capacity for SQA delivery.
Expand and fine tune the provision of our social enterprise
Our social enterprise, Venture Mòr, achieved progress with increasingly positive results. Working in partnership with the Applecross Trust, extensive work was done to the exterior of Hartfield House along with upgrading the access road. Hartfield House Hostel recorded significant growth in guest numbers, reflecting its location in Applecross and the huge success of the North Coast 500, the increasingly popular touring route in Scotland’s northwest. The profile of Venture Mòr, and by extension Applecross, as a destination was raised via social media, targeted marketing and PR activities. We successfully launched an intensive wilderness therapy programme aimed at teens from across the UK struggling with emotions and life circumstances. The first 3-week programme was delivered in March 2017 and with continued profile raising, we delivered a series of successful programmes
But there are many more who need our help
In 2017-18, Venture Trust’s outreach teams connected with hundreds of participants and potential participants. However, there are many more individuals out there who, with the right support, could make and sustain positive changes in their lives.