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Embarking on a new journey with Venture Scotland

Person in protective gear and helmet jumping from a rock into the sea

As we step into the New Year, why not embrace a fresh start with Venture Scotland’s Journey Programme? Dive into a transformative experience designed for people aged 16-30 in Edinburgh with a year-long personal development journey, centred around outdoor activities and self-discovery.

A message from a service user:

“VS was my last hope at change. I’ve heard people say that you need to hit rock bottom before you can accept help and slowly climb back out again. In my experience, I hit rock bottom, asked for help and then was buried down there. My mental health rapidly deteriorated aged 12, and by 13 I was very suicidal, wanting with every fiber in my body to die and just not be here anymore. The next five years were very turbulent, filled with suicide attempts, hospital admissions and CAMHS appointments. I very quickly lost all trust in people and was unable to speak or leave home due to crippling anxiety. By people keeping me alive, it felt like they were killing me slowly from the inside out. Life continued to be a struggle, but one that I dealt with entirely on my own as I fell through the gaps of support due to COVID-19. I said I would give it one last go at asking for help, and that’s how I came to Venture Scotland’s door.

I can categorically say I would not be here today without VS. From the first conversation with Sophia, my VS Outreach and Support Worker, I remember thinking she’s the kindest person I have ever met, if everyone at VS is like this, I think I might be able to do this. She had such a good understanding of the barriers facing young people who want to take part, and how VS could help mitigate them. Venture Scotland’s values of respect, trust, inclusion, personal development, diversity and environment really do run throughout the charity and how it operates, creating safe foundations for positive changes to build. What really sets VS apart from other charities is the longer-term nature of the course and with ‘Next Steps’ allowing me to develop at my own pace, and slowly begin to open up. Bit by bit, VS gave me back my voice, and although it is sometimes still quiet, I would love to continue discovering its power, support others to do the same and together use it as a force for good.

I graduated from the course in June 2022, leaving me much more confident, happy (an emotion I had honestly not felt for years), and grateful to be alive. Venture Scotland supported me, and crucially helped me when every other form of support had failed, which I will forever be grateful for.”

Mountains on the horizon, some clouds in the sky.

What is the Journey Programme?

The Journey Programme is a unique and free opportunity for individuals seeking positive changes in their lives. Grounded in the great outdoors, this programme offers a supportive and non-judgmental environment for personal growth.

What to Expect:

Outdoor Adventures: Engage in thrilling activities like canoeing, gorge walking, coasteering, hill walking, rock climbing, orienteering, and more. Discover the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes while challenging yourself physically and mentally.

Skills and Wellbeing Sessions: Participate in regular sessions focused on developing essential life skills and enhancing your overall well-being.

Residential Trips: Immerse yourself in nature with regular trips to remote locations, staying in Bothies (simple cottages) or camping. All equipment is provided for a hassle-free experience.

Personal Development: Challenge yourself to make positive changes, whether it’s boosting confidence, improving communication, honing teamwork skills, or stepping into leadership roles.

Outdoor Kit: Receive outdoor kit to ensure your safety and comfort as you explore the outdoors.

Embark on a journey of self-discovery, adventure, and personal growth. Join Venture Scotland in making 2024 a year of positive change and empowerment!

Find out more about Venture Scotland.