CEO Update

CEO Message

Hope (verb) – to want something to happen or to be true, and usually have a good reason to think that it might.

I really love this definition of hope. It emphasises that hope is not a delusional state of mind. Hope is more than that – it’s based on having a good reason to believe something will happen or will be true.

Times feel tough for everyone at the moment. With wars raging in Gaza and Ukraine, China threatening Taiwan, civil unrest enveloping Haiti and a looming, divisive presidential election in Amerca, the world is feeling more uncertain than ever.

Closer to home, the damage done by the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis, continues to emerge, particularly for young people, with more children living in poverty, suicide rates rising, mental health services inundated, A&E departments at breaking point, homelessness rising and a political system which looks like more of the same, no matter who wins this years’ general election.

Even closer to home (or should I say the VS office?), The Scottish Government is having to make massive cuts. The Edinburgh Joint Integrated Board have just cut their funding by £70 million, local authorities are all trying to make cuts to avoid going bankrupt and trust funds are all being massively oversubscribed (one fund recently had £150k to give out and received bids asking for £1.3 million).

Times are tough, but I have always believed that Venture Scotland is built on hope. Hope is a mindset that drives people forward and there is so much to be hopeful about!

We have a brand new three year strategy, which has just been approved by our Board, a new one year plan, new values, new Vision, new Mission, new strategic aims / priorities, a new fundraising strategy and a new outdoors programme design.

Phew!

This is the result of a huge effort from staff, Ambassadors, Board members, young people and volunteers who were all consulted (often several times!). Thank you to everyone to contributed over the last frantic 9 months!

During our many, many consultation meetings, the word ‘Hope’ has come up time and time again. Many young people talk of the hope they have in their futures, following their participation in our programmes, and everyone at Venture Scotland recognises how important hope is in the lives of our young people, the lives of our volunteers and in the lives of our staff team.

So while our budget for the year ahead is ‘challenging’, while we currently can’t afford to replace the staff that are leaving us, and while our young people are facing cuts in support services, we can have ‘good reason to think’ that the future is bright and that we will always be there for the young people we seek to support.

I hope everyone who reads this feels some hope in your life and I’d would like to thank everyone who continues to support our charity, despite all the challenges around us. Your support in the year ahead will be crucial to allow us to keep #changingyounglives

David Brackenridge, Venture Scotland CEO

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