At Venture Trust we are privileged to work with many fantastic and innovative partners.
Venture Trust: Why have you chosen to support Venture Trust?
Cycling Scotland: At Cycling Scotland our vision is a sustainable, inclusive and healthy Scotland where anyone, anywhere can enjoy all the benefits of cycling. Within our Cycling Friendly Communities programme, we support organisations across the country using cycling to break down barriers and bring people together in the community. Venture Trust are a fantastic example of this, an organisation working to make a positive life possible for people who have had adverse life experiences by introducing them to learning and development opportunities in the great Scottish outdoors. Bikes bring people together and can play a massive role in addressing some of the challenges that communities face, and through supporting organisations like Venture Trust we can reach many more people.
VT: How do you think Venture Trust makes a difference?
VT: We know that Venture Trust is making a difference by targeting some of the most vulnerable young people and adults across Scotland and providing them with personal development programmes. We have seen in action how this helps individuals to acquire core life skills and the confidence necessary to start the journey through employment, training and/or education. On the Change Cycle programme, participants are not only learning how to build a bike, but to maintain and care for it, to develop their social skills, and to work with others. These skills are invaluable for their future development. Importantly, they get to keep the bike they build at the end of the course, giving them a mode of transport which they can use to get to job interviews, college, or appointments.
VT: Can you describe the importance of the relationship you have built with VT?
CS: The Cycling Friendly Communities programme supports organisations across Scotland to take a leading role in increasing the number of people who cycle. Building relationships with community-based organisations such as Venture Trust is crucial to making sure we reach as many people as possible, through communities that are already formed and engaged. Venture Trust has excellent relationships with their community, and we can support this through providing funding for their hard work to continue. A great example of the strength of our Cycling Friendly Communities programme, we chose Venture Trust to highlight as a case study in our latest Cycling Scotland Annual Report.
VT: How does Venture Trust help you fulfil your aims?
CS: As the nation’s cycling organisation, Cycling Scotland works with others to help create and deliver opportunities and an environment so anyone anywhere in Scotland can cycle easily and safely. Providing funding to Venture Trust through the Cycling Friendly Communities programme allows us to reach people who might otherwise miss out on the joy of cycling. Bikes have an important role to play in supporting our environment, our economy, our society and our health; and we aim to establish cycling as an accessible and practical travel option for people across Scotland.
VT: What are your reflections on coming to see Venture Trust in action?
CS: We got the opportunity to see a Venture Trust project in action, visiting one of the Change Cycle groups at Bike for Good in Glasgow. We got a chance to talk to some participants, who told us about their progress and challenges, and how the staff had helped to guide them through obstacles and build their resilience. They told us about the impact that taking part in Change Cycle had had on their confidence and skills. It was truly inspiring to chat to these young people and hear about their plans for the future. This experience reinforced what we already knew; that providing access to bikes and tackling inequalities is incredibly important and necessary work.