Staff Blog Q&A with our Outreach and Support Worker, Louisa

Today, we’re catching up with one of our amazing Outreach and Support Workers, Louisa Selwood!

Louisa. Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always been an outdoorsy person?

Hello! I’m the Outreach and Support Worker at our Edinburgh office. I’m originally from London but have been lucky enough to be able to travel and live abroad in a few different places in my twenties. Scotland is home for the moment though!

I grew up going on weekend walks with my family, and we did a lot of camping for our holidays when we were younger too, so I guess quite outdoorsy.

You’ve been with VS since August 2023 – what do you like most about your role?

Ooooh difficult question, lots of things but the main two would be:

  • Getting to meet our young people and being the first person that engages with them when thinking of joining our Programme. It’s nice getting to chat about the programme that we’re running and being that first point of contact for someone that is interested in what we do.
  • I’m really liking the ‘outreach’ side of my role; I’ve learnt a lot about other organisations working in Edinburgh to support young people and it’s been really heartwarming meeting people and chatting about ways that we can support people in different ways. It’s also great being able to talk about our programme at VS and spread the word about what we offer!


Venture Scotland believes that nature and the outdoors are key to maintaining and improving health and wellbeing – what does the outdoors mean to you?

Being out in nature and the outdoors is something very important to me, I find that my head feels so much clearer after getting some time in the fresh air. I value how peaceful and relaxing it is to be out in a natural environment and appreciate the benefit of having places to go to that aren’t as noisy or busy as the city. It’s nice being able to pinpoint specific noises, smells and textures in the surroundings when I’m out on a walk or having a swim, which I find to be great for being more present and aware of the world around me.

I also enjoy gardening, which is a nice way to feel more in touch with nature while also being in a city environment. It’s not always easy or practical to get out into the country every weekend, so spending time in the garden is a little way of keeping close to nature at home for me.

What’s your have a favourite VS memory?

I’ve only been here for 6 months, so still making the memories, but I have two moments that have stood out in that time.

One has got to be the evening of an Awards Night that I was lucky enough to go to – it was super special being part of the preparation and event to celebrate a group of young people finishing our year long programme. Seeing them read their speeches that they had been practising in the weeks leading up to it was really moving and there was such a nice vibe and buzz going on that evening.

Another memory would have to be staying in the Bothy for our Challenge residential. It was the first time I’ve stayed in a Bothy, so it was a new experience for me as well as some of the other participants in that group. The bothy itself and its surroundings are really lovely, and I especially liked being able to see the stars and milky way at night when the sky was so clear!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting the programme?

Have fun and challenge yourself! Our staff and volunteers are all here to help you relax and enjoy everything on our programme. There’s so much to learn and challenge yourself with that it’s such a great opportunity to be a part of, so make the most of the experience and chance to learn about yourself and others around you in the group.

If you could only take part in one more activity session with VS, what activity would it be and why?

Hmmm, anything to do with the water, I’ve not done Gorge Walking yet, and I feel very keen to give it a try after all the positive things people have said about it.