CEO Summer Message

CEO Message

Funding News from Venture Scotland

As many of you know, the last 18 months have been extremely difficult times for Venture Scotland. Having taken over as CEO in November 2018, it was quickly apparent, that the impending ending of our Big Lottery funding in June 2019, for both our Edinburgh and Glasgow operations, was going to place us in a very challenging financial position.

The result of this loss in funding, was a restructuring of Venture Scotland to retain a minimum viable staffing level and sadly, a number of redundancies in both cities. This downsizing has massively reduced the number of young people we have been able to support.

Since then, we have been focused on ensuring the financial survival of the organisation. I have been humbled by the number of people who have either been fundraising for us or have personally put their hand in their own pocket, to help us get through this difficult time. Whether you gave us a few pounds or a five-figure sum (you know who you are!), I cannot thank you enough. The result of your generosity, is that Venture Scotland has been able to, not only survive, but to continue to support the young people who are at the heart of everything we do.

It is with great pleasure, that I’m able to announce, that The City of Edinburgh Council recently announced its new Communities and Families Grants funding 2020-23 and they have agreed to support both our applications. This will result in them funding us a total of £197,252 per year, for the next three years, starting in September. To put this in perspective, this is about 35% of the total funding we need to get back to our former level of funding during the Big Lottery funded period. This award represents a huge amount of time and effort in building political goodwill (at local government and Scottish Parliament levels), awards nights supported by the Lord Provost and Young People’s Champion of the council and the right people hearing the life changing stories of the young people we work with.

Of course, this funding is only for our Edinburgh operations, though it will allow us to use other funding to continue to support the Glasgow side of Venture Scotland. We are due to hear in the coming months about funding from Glasgow City Council and hope a similar successful outcome will apply here. We will need to continue to seek funding to support the work we do and are focused on building our organisation to be much more sustainable in the future, so we are never in this position again. In the meantime, we will start to build our Edinburgh staff team.

"Whether you are a fundraiser, a supporter who donates to us monthly or just as a one off, a volunteer supporting young people or a volunteer working with us in the background, or if you are just someone who believes in our work and tells others about what we do... thank you! Please keep doing whatever you are doing. It is more important now than ever."

Stay safe and hopefully in the not too distant future, we will all be back out in the great outdoors and at Glen Etive bothy #ChangingYoungLives outdoors.

David Brackenridge
CEO of Venture Scotland

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