ScottishPower Foundation supports Venture Scotland initiative, The Journey
This week, 40 young people from across Scotland will receive new qualifications and awards from taking part in a personal development programme that has helped them turn their lives around. ‘The Journey’, set up by Venture Scotland, and supported by funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, is an innovative programme that uses outdoor pursuits to help vulnerable young people gain a range of practical and emotional skills to help them lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Each of the 40 participants was referred to the course because of a unique challenge they faced in their life, such as poor physical or mental health, offending behaviour or drug or alcohol misuse. The group started ‘The Journey’ back in August 2014 and prior to then many of its members did not have much experience of outdoor activities. Over the past nine months they have taken part in a plethora of outdoor based activities such as team games, hill-walking, canoeing, community living and spending a weekend fending for themselves at Venture Scotland’s bothy in Glen Etive. As a result, each member has gained valuable skills and a new perspective on life.
The young people graduating from the course on Thursday, 11 June, at a ceremony at Glasgow’s Albany Centre, have gained qualifications including the National Navigation Award Scheme, SCA Canoe 1 Star, Mountain Bike Leader, Archery Instructor and John Muir Discovery Award for conservation. Thanks to the skills attained on the course, the majority are now in full or part-time employment, education, training or volunteering on a regular basis.
Tam Hendry, Chief Executive, Venture Scotland, said: “It is incredible to see the transformation each year in the young people who complete ‘The Journey’. Back in August many of the participants lacked self-esteem and faced numerous challenges in their home lives. Thanks to the support of the ScottishPower Foundation, young people facing the odds have been given an opportunity to engage with the natural world and establish a sense of community and self-worth, to help them move on to the next chapter in their lives.
“As well as finding work or continuing their education, several of the young people have also signed up to volunteer with Venture Scotland and help mentor next year’s intake – to reach the point where they have the confidence, skills and desire to not only take charge of their own lives but to also give back to others is the very definition of empowerment.”
Ann Loughrey, Trustee and Executive Officer, ScottishPower Foundation, said: “The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to supporting community programmes that inspire young people to get more out of life. By helping them attain valuable life skills, Venture Scotland gives some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people a chance to turn their lives around. It was a privilege to watch the forty young people graduate and we are delighted to continue to support Venture Scotland and its range of personal development programmes for vulnerable young people.”
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