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The Power Of The Outdoors

Venture Scotland, a local charity, is helping transform the mental health of young people
Participants on the Venture Scotland residential at Glen Etive Bothy in the Highlands

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, we've been speaking to Venture Scotland, a charity which uses the power of nature and the outdoors to transform the mental health and wellbeing of young adults across Scotland.

The Journey Programme

Venture Scotland uses nature and the outdoors to spark discovery, development and deep thinking in young people. Each stage of their 12 month Journey Programme - Challenge, Discover, Explore and Leadership - focuses on developing mental health awareness, resilience, confidence and an appreciation for the environment. Every week, their young people take part in outdoor activity days, such as canoeing, hillwalking and rock climbing, interactive group work sessions and one-to-one support sessions with staff.

Life-Changing Experiences

The young people taking part in Venture Scotland's programmes are often struggling with their mental health and have faced extremely challenging, and sometimes traumatic, experiences. Venture Scotland prides itself on offering the long-term, person-centred support that young people need to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life. By giving young people a safe environment, trusted relationships and valuable life skills, Venture Scotland empowers young people to make positive, long-standing change.

At the end of each programme stage, Venture Scotland takes their participants - some of whom have never travelled far from home - on a remote trip to the Borders or to their Glen Etive Bothy. These residentials are the heart and soul of Venture Scotland's work and gives their young people the opportunity to leave behind the pressures of their life, support one another and enjoy the unique beauty and tranquillity of wild spaces. They are where Venture Scotland's young people have the most fun and make the biggest breakthroughs.

Hayley, one of Venture Scotland's young people, said,

"The Etive Bothy trip was life-changing. It was so special to make deep connections with others and I'm amazed by the increase in my confidence and sense of belonging since joining the programme. I feel more trusting of people and it's been life-changing learning so much about communication and relationships."

Mental Health Awareness Week

This Mental Health Awareness Week, Venture Scotland is looking forward to their Young People's Awards Night, taking place in Glasgow on the 11th May and in Edinburgh on the 17th May. The Awards Night is a celebration of their young people, who have graduated from all four stages of their Journey Programme. It will be a night to remember - full of speeches, laughter and music!

Players' Support

Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, £20,000 was awarded to Venture Scotland, through People's Postcode Trust. This funding has allowed the charity to continue to support young people in need.

Making A Difference

People's Postcode Lottery players are helping deserving causes like Venture Scotland make a difference every single day. Read more about the range of Charities which our players support.

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Published: 09/05/2022

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