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At Venture Trust, we support people who have experienced trauma, adverse childhood experiences, poverty, domestic violence, neglect, and abuse, resulting in low self-esteem, little self-worth, and poor wellbeing, all of which have affected relationships, employment opportunities, and their health. Sadly, some have experienced challenges with addiction, periods of homelessness, or conflict with the law, which can be devastating for the individual and their family. Despite their varied experiences, what all Venture Trust participants need is someone to believe in them, champion them, and show them a new path; one with opportunity, possibility, and hope. Our work is trauma informed; we recognise that our participants have multiple and complex needs, which is why our work not only focuses on the issues presented, but on the whole person and the different factors impacting their lives.
The Great Outdoors
Scotland is blessed with beautiful greenspaces, breath-taking scenery, and stunning landscapes. At Venture Trust, we see these places as positive therapeutic learning and development environments where our participants can reflect, challenge themselves, discover their identity and begin to consider a more positive future for themselves.
‘Being out in the wilderness for 5 days was life changing…..life changing!’ Louise – age 33
Using the natural outdoors as a positive and peaceful environment, we help each person identify areas of their life they want to change, help them understand their own personal journey, and empower them to take control of their own future, leading to a more fulfilled life.
Our outreach team meet individuals in and around their community in spaces and places where they feel comfortable, relaxed, and able to build a trusting relationship. Over time, participants begin to open up about their life, their experiences and their future goals – possibly for the first time. Being outdoors gives people a sense of freedom, ownership, and the opportunity to reflect. Our team are highly skilled in carrying out therapeutic conversations which support our participants to identify areas of their life they would like to change, which can include education, employment, relationships, housing, lifestyle choices, and health and wellbeing. Each participant is encouraged to create a map of their life with personal destinations and are supported to reach them.
Our journeys take participants out into the stunningly beautiful Scottish wilderness, where they typically travel for anything up to ten days, often wild camping, walking, canoeing, abseiling, climbing, and overcoming challenging terrain. Away from technology, their local environments, networks of family and friends, and the pressures associated, our participants are given the freedom to truly find themselves, leading to an improved sense of worth, confidence, and wellbeing. Our Wilderness Journey leaders are highly trained to help participants safely navigate the physical journey but also attuned to support their individual mental and emotional needs. We use the experiences and challenges of ‘living wild’ in the great outdoors to enable participants to reflect on day-to-day concerns, behaviours, and choices, helping them to forge a different path when they return home to their communities.
“After the Venture Trust course, I came back and I was motivated and I had everything, an action plan; I had the tools for life; I had everything that I needed to get on with life and ever since then hand on heart I can say that my life has gotten so much better. I’m working, I’ve worked for the police and young offenders and prison services… From all the bad stuff that happened in my life I try and make something good come from it and that’s about all I can do.” Stephen – aged 24