On behalf of myself and all the staff at Venture Scotland I’d like to wish our volunteers, board members, referrers, fundraisers, funders and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Our Venture Scotland Year
As 2019 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on what has been both a productive and a difficult year for our organisation. We have had to restructure to a much smaller staff team due to the ending of Big Lottery funding, reducing our capacity to deliver and we have lost our valued colleagues. There has also been the sad passing of a recent Venture Scotland participant from suicide. Leon, you will always be remembered.
Despite the lows and setbacks we have still managed to work with over 100 young people on our programme in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We’ve had three amazing awards nights to celebrate graduations from our year-long programme; we ran a brilliant Volunteer Development weekend; we have agreed our Organisational Values (these will be officially announced in the New Year); we have a new team of volunteers looking after our much loved bothy; and we have survived!
Of course, the reason we have survived is because we’ve all stuck together. The Board have been an incredible support to me as I’ve grappled with the challenges of taking over as CEO and my heartfelt thanks go to each and every one of them.
The Work We DO
As you know, we have an amazing staff team who have been professional, dedicated and determined to ensure the vital work we do continues. I have drawn strength from their determination.
Our dedicated team of volunteers have stuck with us, despite less opportunities to volunteer and many have stepped up to help fundraise, manage the Volunteer Development weekend and maintain the bothy, while also continuing to support our young people to develop skills, build their confidence and succeed in changing themselves and their lives. I am continually in awe of the time, effort and dedication they give freely to Venture Scotland.
But my main inspiration, as always, is our young people. I’ve had the honour to work with many of our inspirational young people and to attend the three awards nights this year and hear the journey the young people have been on and the changes they have made in themselves and their lives makes all the hard work worthwhile.
I believe 2020 is going to be a pivotal year for Venture Scotland. A chance to rebuild our finances and to diversify where our funding comes from. A chance to look at the way we govern ourselves and ensure our volunteers can have more say and influence. A chance to expand our Board of Trustees to ensure we have all the skill sets they need to lead us forward. And most importantly, a chance to help more young people to turn their lives around.
…to each one of you who have helped us through 2019. I hope you will continue to support us next year, to continue our life changing (and often lifesaving) work.
Chief Executive of Venture Scotland