The National Lottery Funds Our Pioneering Young-Person Project

Fundraising News

Today Venture Scotland are celebrating receiving nearly £100,000 in funding, over 3 years, from The National Lottery Community Fund, made possible by National Lottery players.

Since 1989, our charity has used the outdoors as a vehicle to transform the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of Young People across the Central Belt of Scotland. Every year, our small team delivers four, progressive outdoor-based personal development programmes, known as the “Journey”, to over 50 Young People who are facing challenges to their mental health. We utilise Scotland’s natural environments to deliver group-based outdoor activities, such as gorge walking, kayaking and hill climbing, alongside groupwork, 1-to-1 support sessions and remote bothy residentials. Our ethos is to use the outdoor experience to help our Young People gain confidence, overcome challenges, and discover their potential – all of which they can channel into their daily lives.

The National Lottery Community Fund has made it possible for our graduate Young People to give back to Venture Scotland and has ensured that Young People are at the heart of our organisation. Our innovative Ambassador Programme has embedded four of our graduate Young People at all levels of Venture Scotland:

  • They attend and offer feedback at our Board meetings;

  • Support our fundraising team;

  • Help our Outreach Worker engage with new Young People;

  • Volunteer with our delivery team on activity days;

  • And have helped recruit new staff and trustees.

Most importantly, our Ambassadors bring their “lived experience” to motivate and inspire our Young People and ensure that their wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.

Jo graduated from Venture Scotland’s Journey Programme in 2019. Before Venture Scotland, Jo was stuck in a cycle of self-destruction and experienced crippling anxiety, eating disorders and isolation. After completing our Journey Programme, Jo became a Venture Scotland Ambassador; she has this to say about the Programme:

“The Ambassador Programme has given me a purpose and structure in these turbulent times, a chance to connect with people, learn new skills, keep up old ones and a chance to give back to a place and people that changed my life. It has given me hope; something to hold on to.” Jo, Ambassador

The National Lottery Community Fund will allow us to officially launch our Ambassador Programme to a whole new generation of Young People and will ensure that Venture Scotland is the best it can be.

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “National Lottery funding can make amazing things happen in local communities across the country. This project delivered by Venture Scotland is a great example of community activity in action, showing just what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause or to help others. National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is helping to support this vital work and to help communities thrive.”

Venture Scotland’s CEO, David Brackenridge added: “Our Ambassador programme has put the voices of young people at the heart of our organisation and this has already had a transformational effect. So often, our Ambassadors have given us a whole new perspective on the work we do and the decisions we make and this has changed the way we operate, govern ourselves and has shaped our strategy going forward. I already can’t imagine them not being an integral part of Venture Scotland. A massive thanks to the National Lottery for funding this programme and for ensuring we can grow and develop it with young people.