Venture Trust has been shortlisted in two categories – the Health and Wellbeing Award and Youth and Education Award – at RSPB Scotland’s 10th anniversary Nature of Scotland Awards.
Venture Trust’s personal development programmes make nature and the benefits of the outdoors more accessible to people from some of Scotland’s most deprived urban areas. For many, Venture Trust is transformative in their understanding of the role nature plays in improving their health and wellbeing.
Nature offers inherent challenges for people to reflect on beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. The combination of outdoor learning in a natural environment alongside intensive community-based personal development is an innovative way of supporting them to improve their mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing.
Venture Trust CEO Alastair Pringle said:
“At Venture Trust we believe a meaningful connection with nature and time spent outdoors supports positive mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. We are proud to be nominated for this health and wellbeing award and have our work in the outdoors recognised by the Nature of Scotland Awards.
“Since we were founded in 1982, our work has been rooted in the transformative power of nature and we have been ensuring vulnerable people from some of Scotland’s most deprived areas are able to access nature and recognise the positive relationship between nature and health and wellbeing.”
The awards, co-sponsored by NatureScot, mark a decade of celebrating Scotland’s nature champions. They will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.
52 initiatives from across Scotland have been shortlisted across nine categories, and winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony on 17 November.
This year will also see a special 10th anniversary accolade for Nature Champions of the Decade, which will be decided by a public vote from a selection of previous winners from the last 10 years.
Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The last 18 months have reignited many people’s love for nature, highlighting its importance to all aspects of our lives – be it our health, the economy, or wellbeing.
“This is reflected in the exceptionally high standard of entries for our 10th anniversary Nature of Scotland Awards. We’ve seen outstanding examples from community work and local dog walkers to businesses and schools making a fundamental change to their practices, for the benefit of our environment.
“Our judges will not have an easy job whittling this down to just nine winners, and in order to find our 10th I would urge everyone to vote for their Nature Champions of the Decade. Huge thanks to everyone who applied and congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted!”
Francesca Osowska, chief executive of awards co-sponsor NatureScot, said: “The applications for the Nature of Scotland Awards have been inspiring, showing we all benefit from nature, and everyone can help to create a nature-rich future in Scotland.
“We’re proud to support the awards, and we are particularly excited this year to be sponsoring the new Nature Champions of the Decade category.
“Good luck to all of the shortlisted finalists, we look forward to celebrating the many dedicated people and projects leading the way to protect and enhance our biodiversity.”