Volunteer Blog

15 years as a volunteer with Venture Scotland by Isobel Freeman, trustee on the VS Board

I found out about Venture Scotland by googling. I had just completed climbing all the Munros (hills over 3000 feet) and thought it would be a good idea to see if I could support other people to enjoy the hills. I googled ‘hillwalking and vulnerable young people’ and up came Venture Scotland and it sounded great. That was about 15 years ago, and I have been a volunteer ever since.

I love my trips with Venture Scotland. I can’t pick out any single experience as being the best. The company is great. You always get a lot of laughs even, or especially, when the weather is bad. For me though the best times are often the quiet times when you are sitting in the bothy playing cards or sitting round a fire and talking.

The things Venture Scotland does (like walking, canoeing, weaseling and gorge walking) are good fun, so is cooking together, playing cards and playing games. It isn’t just about enjoying yourself though, we all benefit from being outdoors and the space allows time to think about what positive changes need to be made and how to do it.  Venture Scotland really does change lives.

I have been a volunteer with Venture Scotland for 15 years and a trustee for the last 3 years. Being a trustee has made me realise how hard it is to get funding to keep the work going. There seems to be less and less funding available for charities and so Venture Scotland has been trying hard to find other sources of funding. This has included asking volunteers and their friends for donations.

I was surprised at how generous volunteers have been but then I realised every time I go on a Venture Scotland trip I save money, I have a great weekend and it doesn’t cost me anything so I just donate some of the money that I have saved by not going to the pub, eating out or whatever and help keep Venture Scotland going.

Venture Scotland would never expect volunteers to pay for the fun they have had and is grateful for the time volunteers donate but if you’ve had good weekends, saved money and can afford it then think about donating.