Kat. Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always been an outdoorsy person?
I’m Kat, I started my Venture Scotland journey as a volunteer on outdoor activity days and as part of the Bothy Maintenance team, then became the Outreach and Support Worker in Glasgow! I loved volunteering (even carrying a fridge over the Glen Etive bog to the bothy) and could immediately see the impact Venture Scotland has for young people and the amazing trusting relationships nurtured, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the team. Aside from outdoor things, my hobbies include being quite crafty and eating a LOT of pudding at the bothy.
Hmmm! I spent a lot of time in the sea and walking in wet and windy Wales and the Lake District (perfect preparation for moving to Scotland!), then got more into running and spending time in the hills as I got older– being outdoors is now a big part of my non-work life, and work life!
You’ve been with VS since July 2022 – what do you like most about your role?
I really love how varied my role is – as the OSW, it’s a privilege to be the first person to meet young people and welcome them into VS, then to see and be a part of their journey from start to finish. I get to support outdoor activity days and bothy trips which I LOVE, have amazing conversations with people whether it’s at our base or in the gorge, and to talk about our amazing participants and work with referrers.
Venture Scotland believes that nature and the outdoors are key to maintaining and improving health and wellbeing – what do the outdoors mean to you?
Exactly that! Spending time outdoors is really important to me and helps in so many ways! I love being active with a run or long day in the hills, or a slow swim or sit by a loch – both help me to recharge in different ways. I love the outdoors as a way to spend time and feel connected to people and places, and also as a way to spend time alone and catch a breath from busy, sociable life, to push myself and keep learning new things, and just to have lots of fun!
What’s your have a favourite VS memory?
I’m too indecisive to choose! I absolutely love being in our Glen Etive bothy and feeling the ‘bothy magic.’ Our recent trip to the bothy with our North Lanarkshire programme stands out – taking a dip in beautiful pools, amazing conversations and silly dancing, and sitting under the mountains in front of a fire with our homemade pizzas is always a special moment. I’ve also loved days with the VS team, especially a bouncy coasteering team training day in May with some commendable ‘salmon’ jumps.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting the programme?
Give it a go! It can be really daunting to join a programme and meet a group of new people, but you will be supported, cheered on and cared for by VS every step of the way. VS programmes are an amazing combination of support and positive challenge to help you to grow in confidence, see all of the strengths we see in you, and realise how much you can do and overcome – both during the programme and for life beyond VS.
If you could only take part in one more activity session with VS, what activity would it be and why?
Coasteering! I love being in the sea – feeling and overcoming the power of the water, and seeing people experience that too, or gently bobbing in the waves in true sea otter style – it’s different every time we go and calming, challenging, fun and rejuvenating all at once.
What’s your favourite joke?
Anything that out-pun’s the other VS team members!
I will continue James’ last Q&A blog theme of cheese jokes:
What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?
If you have any questions about our projects and programmes in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, you can get in touch with Kat at
07496 494 697 or via email@example.com