So, what is it all about? What kind of magic is it that makes volunteers come back time and time again (one even turned into our CEO!)? And what do our volunteers get up to?
Our Volunteer Co-Ordinator, Fern, dives into a day in the life of a VS volunteer…
From supporting staff on activity sessions to encouraging Young People (YP) to make positive changes, no two days of volunteering with Venture Scotland are the same and we like to think that is what makes volunteering here so unique.
Our Venture Volunteers support our Delivery Team with all aspects of our activity and theory sessions. From taking part in activities such as climbing, canoeing, hill walking & coasteering to silently working away in the background making numerous cups of tea and putting away kit – they truly make the VS world go round.
Whilst the activities may change, the fundamentals stay the same – supporting, encouraging, and listening to our Young People is what is at the heart of volunteering here at VS. It is the walking side by side listening to their stories, the sitting in silence whilst they process their thoughts and the reminders that they are capable of change, of stepping outside comfort zones and reaching goals.
There is nothing more magical than seeing a Young Person step beyond their comfort zone and reach new heights (literally and metaphorically!). The feeling of joy, excitement and elation is tangible and creates the most glorious ripple effect to all those around.
Our residential trips are at the centre of what we do on our personal development Journey Programme. After just two days on programmee our YP head off to one of our bothies in the Borders for a 2-night, 3-day residential. For many, bothy life is something completely different and outwith their comfort zones so the support and comforting presence of our incredible volunteers is as invaluable as ever.
Our Glen Etive Bothy is world-renowned (ok, maybe not world-renowned but definitely known by many!) and is quite possibly the most talked-about part of the Journey Programme! Getting to the bothy in Glen Etive is no mean feat with a 3-hour drive through glorious Glencoe and then a walk over the marshy ground carrying everything that is required for 4 nights and 5 days – but it’s worth it!
On our residentials, our volunteers support staff with the smooth running of each day and the trip as a whole. From taking a turn to make the morning teas and coffees (and delivering them to everyone in bed nonetheless!) and undertaking a share of cooking and cleaning to supporting our YP in this new environment and joining in with activities, warm-ups, and check-ins, the residential volunteers really do it all!
It is hard to not use the word magical time and time again when talking about Glen Etive, but it is just so…….magical!
Bothy Maintenance Volunteers
Talking of Glen Etive, our Bothy Maintenance volunteers keep this space safe, functional and practical for groups.
With paintbrushes, screwdrivers and some incredible DIY skills at the ready, bothy maintenance weekends are full of enthusiasm and fun. Painting and plumbing, cleaning and clearing, fixing and fencing, repairing and replacing – there is never a shortage of things to be done.
Like residential volunteers, our wonderful group of bothy maintenance volunteers get involved in all aspects of the trips – the cup of tea, the cooking, and general management of the bothy… that is when they are not busy giving the bothy some TLC.
We believe that our young people should be at the centre of everything we do here at VS and we want our YP to be part of shaping the programmes we deliver, to be consulted at all levels of our organisation and have their input valued and celebrated and that’s exactly what our wonderful Ambassadors do.
Our Ambassdors contribute so much to VS, they take part in recruiting new staff and trustees, attend board meetings, assist with the design of the Journey programme, write letters to politicians, funders and supports and also volunteer with current VS groups.
It is so special having those who have been through the programme shape the programme and the direction of VS.
Our board members help shape the future of VS, assist with strategic decisions, help manage risks and approve new strategies.
With bi-monthly board meetings, annual board away days, development weekends, and regularly volunteering on the programme, our board members know VS like the back of their hand.
Our board members are involved with all aspects of VS and help to guide us all in the same direction with the aims, objectives and values of VS at the helm.
We couldn’t do what we do without our incredible volunteers, they bring so much depth, knowledge, enthusiasm and energy to Venture Scotland and we are endlessly grateful for their time and commitment – THANK YOU! 😊