CEO’s Holiday Message

Is it just me or are you thinking ‘how on earth did it get to the end of the year’, while at the same time thinking, ’how did we just cope with 2020’?!

So many words come to mind when I look back over the last 12 months. Stressful and yet calming, lonely and yet together, zoomed out and yet outside lots, worried and yet positive, frustrated and yet happy, scared and yet safe.

I’m sorry 2020, you’ve just been a bit weird!!!

And the same has been true for Venture Scotland in 2020. We started the year worried about our financial situation but are now in a much healthier financial position – Thank you to everyone who has donated or fundraised for us, you are amazing! We started the year with a staff team of just 7 knowing one of us was leaving but will end the year with a staff of 9. We started the year with falling volunteer numbers and hours and ended with 26 new volunteers and over £33,000 worth of volunteering hours. Thank you to all our amazing volunteers too!

Indeed 2020 has been both traumatic and brilliant.

I’ve learnt that: working from home is great; that I really miss the mountains when I’m not allowed to go to them; that my climbing friends mean more to me than I ever thought possible; that having time at home with nothing to do helps me get through my ‘to do’ list; that zoom with friends is better than nothing; that yoga online on your living room floor works; and getting out every day, even locally, for a walk or a run, really does help your mental health.

And now as the holidays approach, whether this year has been your ‘anno horribilis’ or has been the best year of your life, I hope you can take a little time out over the festive period, to take stock. Imagine standing outside our beloved Glen Etive Bothy on a cloudless night and looking up at the thousands and thousands of stars and remember that sometimes we need the darkness, to see where the light is our lives. On behalf of all the staff at Venture Scotland, can I wish you and the ones you love, a very peaceful and safe festive period when it comes.

David Brackenridge
CEO, Venture Scotland

Regarding the photo above: I know this is not Glen Etive Bothy, but like, wow. Thanks to our volunteer Rachel Keenan for giving VS some amazing photos!

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