Today we’re sharing the Journey of one of our 2023 graduates, Brody, who graduated from the fourth and final stage of the Journey Programme – Leadership – in October 2023. This is their VS story.
Before I started VS, I was offered group therapy from NHS to help me cope with my CPTSD. The sessions overlapped with the Venture programme so I decided to take a leap of faith.
Sophia informed me about all the stages and challenges that were ahead of me. Everything sounded perfect – though pretty scary. I struggled with social anxiety, fear of heights, maintaining healthy relationships and protecting my boundaries. I used to mask my personality as a way to cope with everyday situations.
Throughout each stage of the program – I have changed so much for the better. I’m no longer afraid to try new things and meet new people. My confidence in myself has blown through the roof. I’ve been supported to conquer my fears by going coasteering, having the opportunities to develop myself by venturing to camping trips and unforgettable bothy adventures.
I gotta say that the most memorable part is being on the water paddle boarding. I’ve never felt so free and at peace. The water is my happy place – on Loch Ard I was on my board and I saw a lil baby caterpillar swimming so decided to take them aboard and gave him some leaves to munch on.
At Glen Etive is where the challenge was real. Spending four days in the wilderness – team building with the best team I could ask for. From supporting each other to the very end, we made lifelong memories that will stay with us. I even made a bee friend and named him Henry – he sat on my shoulder and enjoyed the walk to the river with us. When we arrived I tucked him into my hood so he could take a nap while we had a group activity and we took in the views. On route back, I returned him to a close by flower. The scenery honestly took my breath away, I’m so lucky to have experienced it.
During my time at Venture Scotland, I’ve grown and have been moulded into a better, brighter version of myself. To have the opportunity to be accepted into a group that makes space to be yourself and learn who you truly are. Through every rainy and sunny day, I have been supported and listened to – no matter if my brain is zapping itself or not.
Before Venture Scotland I generally struggled to get up every day, I saw no purpose in my life. But with the help from my fabulous team, staff and volunteers involved in my journey – I am over my fears and more able to deal with everyday life’s challenges. I believe I have found my purpose.
Having the opportunity to go on activities and sessions on how to deal with life’s chaotic surprises has changed my life. Even finding a new rock to add to my collection! All these life-changing experiences have helped me in so many ways.
Venture Scotland has made such a positive impact on people’s lives – I feel so incredibly lucky to have been one of them. Now I know what paths to take to improve my life and career for the better.
Coming from a family so toxic and dysfunctional – to being accepted into a group so accepting and loving unconditionally has made me see I am worth it all. Worthy of love, worthy of living, free to be me without judgement.
Venture Scotland will always be part of my chosen family. I will never forget those who never gave up on me. Thank you for giving me another chance at life. Those in my journey have been an absolute inspiration every step of the way. I could have never of made it without you all.