"The scenery in the outdoors helped be to think and be honest with myself. It got me to ask myself what I really wanted from life. I started to think about how I wanted to be a better person. I call it ‘recovery with nature’.

I went through every emotion on the wilderness journey. I laughed and I even had a cry, which I hadn’t done in a long time. That felt like a big release. Closing ourselves in isn’t good for the soul or our heads, especially when you’ve been in prison, the outdoors feels like freedom.

It gave me a feeling of belonging. I thought to myself ‘why have I not done this sooner?”

Our Living Wild programme supports individuals currently involved in the Scottish justice system who want to make positive and sustained changes that can lead to a move away from offending.

Eligibility: Anyone aged 16+ and currently involved in the justice system as a result of offending or alleged offending behaviour. They must also be one of the following:

  • subject to a community order (e.g. CPO)
  • subject to another intervention delivered or directed by justice social work services (e.g. diversion from prosecution, a structured deferred sentence*)
  • currently have a Justice Social Worker

After an assessment period we offer regular community-based outreach support wrapped around a Wilderness Journey usually in the highlands of Scotland. Through intensive learning and personal development individuals will consolidate their new skills, boost confidence, motivation and aspirations. This will allow individuals to tackle complex circumstances and patterns of behaviour and tackle re-offending and help with rehabilitation.

Nature offers inherent challenges for people to reflect on beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. Adapting to this new environment, resilience is increased, participants develop understanding of how to interact others, and improve impulse control in challenging situations. Activities in nature provide opportunities to practice this learning.

Our services provide support for up to 9 months helping individuals to make and sustain connections to services and employment, education, training or volunteering opportunities within their communities.

*These include Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO), Restriction of Liberty Orders, Home Detention Curfews, Structured Deferred Sentences (SDS) and those engaging with voluntary throughcare after release.

Note: Venture Trust does not currently work with registered sex offenders or those subject to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

Key information

Age range:  16+

Location:  Across Scotland (excluding Moray and Highlands & Islands)

Who it's for:  Men and women currently involved in the Scottish justice system system as a result of offending or alleged offending behaviour (including those on Community Payback Orders).

How to refer
Venture Trust Hub Area Hub Coordinator Contact Details
EastAberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk, Fife, Midlothian, Perth & Kinross, Scottish Borders, West Lothianeasthub@venturetrust.cjsm.net (secure email) referralseasthub@venturetrust.org.uk
WestArgyle & Bute, Ayrshire (East, North & South), Dunbartonshire (East & West), Glasgow, Inverclyde, Lanarkshire (North & South), Renfrewshirewesthub@venturetrust.cjsm.net (secure email) referralswesthub@venturetrust.org.uk

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