Who are we?

Who are we?

Venture Scotland is a registered charity (SC013901), founded in 1987 by a group of young Raleigh International volunteers who understood the benefits that natural, outdoor spaces have on individual’s mental health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become Scotland’s only provider of long-term, outdoor-based, personal development for young adults.

What does Venture Scotland do?

We believe we can empower young adults, who are struggling to cope with life, to first understand and then improve their mental health and emotions and in doing so, change the course of their lives.

We do this by delivering four progressive outdoor-based personal development programmes, collectively known as the Journey. Using Scotland’s natural environments, both remote and within our local communities, our programmes deliver regular group-based outdoor activities (e.g. rock climbing, canoeing, gorge walking etc.), life skills sessions, and bothy or camping residentials, backed up by 1-2-1 support sessions.

This allows our participants to experience routine, caring relationships, safe spaces with peers, meaningful activity, mindfulness, regular sleeping and eating patterns, time away from technology and the scientifically-proven restorative effect of the outdoors. 

Where do we work?

Venture Scotland has two centres in Scotland – one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow. However, 90% of our work is done in rural environments all over Scotland – whether that is jumping into the North Sea near Elie in Fife, canoeing at Loch Ard, walking in the hills beside our bothy in Glen Etive or walking up a gorge at Balquidder!

Who do we work with?

Our programme is for anyone between the ages of 16-30 who is facing challenges and looking for support to make positive changes to their wellbeing.

Many of the young adults we work with have grown up in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas where poverty, health inequality, unemployment, crime and substance misuse problems are most prevalent. Many are care-experienced or have survived some form of adverse childhood experience that has led to negative coping strategies such as alcohol/substance misuse, violence, homelessness, self-harm such as cutting or eating disorders and even suicide.