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Annual Review

Venture Trust 6d Bruntsfield Terrace Edinburgh EH10 4EX tel: 0131 228 7700 email: web: Patrons UK: Baroness Vivien Stern Malawi: Dr. Mary Shawa Original Venture Trust graphics by Will Beeslaar Registered office: Lion House, Red Lion Street, London WC1R 4GB Charity number in Scotland: SCO38932 Charity number in England and Wales: 285891 Company number: 1673720

Contents Mission & Vision


Inspiring Young Futures


Chairman’s Introduction


Transitions to Independent Living


Chief Executive’s Welcome


Moving On: Malawi


Living Wild: Chance for Change


Looking Forwards


Next Steps


Financial Summary




Our Supporters – Thank You


The Personal Development Partnership


Your Chance for Change

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Introduction In 2010/11, Venture Trust supported over 180 individuals into positive destinations in employment, education, training and voluntary work. In these challenging times, Venture Trust remains distinctive and exciting. The professional commitment and real passion of Venture Trust’s staff is undoubtedly key to the organisation’s ongoing success, and they are more than deserving of the high esteem in which they are regarded by supporters and participants.


There are three elements to Venture Trust’s provision; all vital in defining what it is that they do, the rationale that informs their work, and the reason it is so important. Firstly, the men and women with whom they work – those whose life circumstances have led to disadvantage, exclusion and marginalisation – are in need of specialist, intensive support of the type offered by Venture Trust. The way that staff are able to build relationships with individuals is nothing short of awe-

inspiring and in turn, the changes that participants are able to make in their lives is often quite incredible. Secondly, the length of Venture Trust’s engagement is vital in nurturing these relationships, and supporting participants’ challenging journey from chaos and hopelessness to positive futures. Finally, yet at the core of everything that Venture Trust does, lies a commitment to the wilderness as a catalyst for change and a tool for learning, development, and reflection. I know well, as many of you will also have experienced, that wilderness environments present intense and unique challenges, and encourage a sense of perspective in a way that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. It is a privilege to introduce our participants to the special wilderness of Scotland.

When budgets are tight it is tempting to look for ‘quick wins’ – to adopt an approach to rehabilitation and development that supports the maximum number of individuals for minimal cost. I believe such interventions are a false economy – a means of reassuring ourselves that we are ‘doing something’ without supporting the most vulnerable in society – those who have the greatest potential for change.

Venture Trust’s programmes are not easy, nor are they quick fixes. But if I have learned one thing, from years of working with this very special organisation, it is this: Venture Trust’s programmes work. Venture Trust’s programme’s transform the lives of those who could be considered beyond hope, and in doing so, have lasting and tangible impacts on each and every one of us. I am proud to be associated with Venture Trust, and look forward to an exciting year ahead.

Sheriff David N Mackie



“It gives you another look at life. The course helps you look at life – different ways of like, living, instead of drugs or violence. It helps you take a step back and think, rather than just reacting on the spot.”

Chief Executive Welcome to Venture Trust’s Annual Review. This Review highlights the importance of our culture, ethos and philosophy. It focuses on the range of Venture Trust’s personal development programmes that change the lives of our participants: challenging them, supporting them and guiding them to positive destinations.


2010/11 has been a year of growth, development and change. This year, Venture Trust has broadened the availability of our support; launching programmes supporting vulnerable women and young homeless people, whilst continuing to enhance our established work with young people struggling with offending, leaving the care system, or managing caring responsibilities.

These are challenging times for the third sector, yet here at Venture Trust we believe we are well placed to prepare for the future with confidence. Indeed, these are exciting times, and I am sure the coming year will continue to see us not only consolidate what has been achieved, but also deliver on our strategic objectives and our vision for the future. I am extremely proud of each and every person Venture Trust has supported this year. Their resilience and determination are both humbling and inspiring, and the changes we’ve seen them make in their lives – often in spite of extremely difficult backgrounds – stand as testimony to the importance of the work that Venture Trust does. This Review gives an insight into the programmes we run and the people we work with – told in our own words, and through the stories and voices of our participants. I very much hope you enjoy sharing this year’s journey with us. Thank you for supporting us as we continue to offer ‘a chance for change’ to those in need.

Greg Barton Chief Executive



Living Wild: Chance for Change This programme offers a life-changing opportunity for young people involved in the Scottish Criminal Justice system to reduce their risk of reoffending.

This year has seen significant expansion of the programme, with increased referrals, a wider reach across Scotland, and the number of participants completing the programme almost doubling compared with last year. 8

More important, of course, are the changes participants are able to make and sustain in their lives. As such, we are delighted that eight in ten of this year’s participants reported increased confidence, nine in ten were more employable, and three quarters had developed more positive relationships with those around them.

“I’ve got a job interview next week, it’s for the cadets. I’m starting college at the end of the month, to do Computing Support, my girlfriend’s pregnant, we’ve got a baby on the way – we’re going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl next week. I’ve got a steady relationship, I’m off the drugs, don’t drink at all. Family life is a lot more mellow and chilled out, everything’s just running a lot smoother now. I feel brilliant, great.”


Next Steps


In 2010, we launched our innovative Next Steps programme – for vulnerable adult women whose chaotic and disadvantaged backgrounds (often involving abuse, domestic violence, substance misuse, unemployment and broken relationships) have led to their involvement in offending.

Following successful piloting last year, the development of this women-centred and female-led programme marks a real step forward for Venture Trust, towards our ambition of sharing our expertise with more diverse groups of vulnerable people.

Participants on this programme stood out for their real desire for change, and their determination to leave offending behind. Launching this programme has been a huge adventure – both for us and our participants - and we are excited about the potential this programme has for the future.

“If I hadn’t come on the Venture Trust course I’d be in jail. There’s no two ways about it. It’d be the same old me, I’d of gone for a bevvie, gone fighting, and I’d be sitting in Cornton Vale.” “Venture Trust taught me to go after what you want… to take the masks off and just be the real you. And instead of just surviving, try and enjoy life, and be a nicer person. Because at the end of the day, I’ve never known the real me. It’s amazing what happens when you take off the mask, when you get that chance, when people have got a wee bit of belief in you. I can see a future. Before, I was needy, I think. I’ll never be that person again, that sad, sad person. I like the new me.”


This year, as part of the Turnaround partnership with Apex and Turning Point Scotland, we supported 26 individuals.



The young people who took part were struggling to sustain community-based sentences, or had experienced a number of remand or short-term custodial sentences, and needed intensive support to resist re-offending and work towards more positive futures. Encouragingly, especially given their level of disengagement, our participants achieved remarkable results. 80% of those who started the course improved their confidence and increased their employability. Perhaps most

importantly, 64% have significantly reduced their risk of reoffending – illustrating the real, positive impact of Venture Trust’s programmes on youth crime in Scotland. This year marked the end of stand-alone provision for Turnaround-referred participants; in future they will be offered places on our expanded Living Wild: Chance for Change programme.

Venture Trust’s outreach teams connected with over 860 participants and potential participants during 2010-11. This represents a 43% increase in assessment and preparatory work compared to 2009-10.

“I learnt to calm down. I learnt that if I’m feeling a bit pissed off, or angry, or a bit down, to go and talk to people. [The course] has affected me in a lot of ways. It’s helped me get more motivated, communication. Getting along with others. Understanding that people have got their own problems as well, and when I’ve got my problems, I should work through them, not just bypass them.” “My relationships with other people have changed, because people are seeing a change in me. And they’re willing to spend time with me now, whereas before, they just didnae want to know, cos they thought you were trouble.” “My relationship with my Dad’s changed; it wasn’t good before. We’re living together now, we’ve got an apartment together, and we’re getting on a lot better than before. With my girlfriend, I was on the verge of breaking up with her, well – she was on the verge of breaking up with me – but after the course, it’s just lifted straight back up again, it’s a lot better now.”


“My relationship with my outreach worker helped me build confidence, and become more open with my feelings. She’s friendly and she looks after us. She helps us, and if we’re down she cheers us up.”

Personal Development

Partnership 14

The Personal Development Partnership exemplifies Venture Trust’s commitment to working with other third sector organisations – we believe this is the best way to offer young people the best possible package of support. Working alongside the Prince’s Trust, Venture Scotland and Fairbridge in Scotland, the Partnership supports young people aged 14-17 who are not in employment, education or training, on the cusp of offending, or involved in anti-social behaviour.

2010-11 marked the first full year of the partnership. As such, the year has been focused on developing strong referral routes, enabling more young people to be supported through our wilderness-centred personal development programmes. A visit from Fergus Ewing MSP at the end of the financial year celebrated the achievements that young people have already been able to make.

“Having the one-to-one meetings really made me think. I felt a big release, ‘cause I just cried my heart out. They were amazing. I don’t think she [support worker] knew what had hit her, because the minute she started talking she sort of touched a subject and everything came away from me – all the anger just… it went!”

“I felt really empty after that, it was like it was all gone and I felt brilliant. It was amazing. I think it’s what I’ve been needing to sort out all my life. And she just let me talk. You know what I mean, it was just amazing. Nobody’s done that before.”


In 2010-11 – the second full year of Venture Trust’s Inspiring Young Futures programme – we provided intensive, transformational support to 191 young carers and young care leavers across nine Scottish local authorities.

Inspiring “[Before Venture Trust] I was just sitting around, doing nothing. Now, I’m at the volunteer centre, going out, cutting grass, painting folk’s houses, for people with disabilities. I’d not thought about it before, but I just wanted to do something for the community. I love it, man. You cannae beat it. I feel better in myself; I’m getting up earlier, getting out, doing something with my time, instead of sitting about, lazing about, doing nothing.” 16

“I don’t think I’d have gone down the volunteer centre if it wasn’t for Venture Trust.”

Participants are achieving even more than we’d hoped, with over three quarters of participants improving their confidence and becoming more employable.

Young Futures Nine in ten young people are more connected to services in their communities after taking part, and have also improved relationships with friends, family, and others around them. We’re delighted to report that during the year 130 young people from the programme progressed into positive destinations – employment, education, training and voluntary work.


Venture Trust’s Transitions to Independent Living programme is built on the success of our long term partnership with the Foyer Federation, and is a development of pilot courses run during 2008-09.

Transitions to



The programme offers personal development support to young homeless people referred by Foyers from across the UK, guiding their transition to independent living by equipping them with the skills and experience necessary to access education, training, employment, build positive relationships, and sustain secure accommodation. We are delighted that all of this year’s participants have gone on to effect real change in their lives, with many successfully making the transition into positive destinations.


Venture Trust delivered the first wilderness journey on this programme in early 2011. Young people travelled to the expedition in the Scottish highlands from locations as widely spread as Norfolk, Aberdeen, Wigan and Plymouth. Making an independent journey to our base camp (often our residential centre in Applecross on the North West coast) demonstrates participants’ readiness to tackle the physical, emotional and social challenges that are at the heart of Venture Trust’s personal development programmes.

“When you get up to Applecross, and you actually see the scenery, it’s just unbelievable. Pure postcard material. I didn’t know Scotland looked like that to be honest. It’s unbelievable.”

“The expedition, it’s just like a new pathway to different parts of your life. When you’re up there you build yourself a family; you’ve nae got anybody else. So the people that are participating on the course with you, and obviously the staff, it ends up feeling like a family at the end. It’s just an amazing experience.”


Moving On:


‘Muli Bwanji’ from the warm heart of Africa! In the first full year of Venture Trust’s Moving On: Malawi programme, great changes have been afoot in Kachere Juvenile Prison, Lilongwe. The Malawi Prison Service has welcomed us with open arms, and we are proud that Dr. Mary Shawa, Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in Malawi’s Office of the President and Cabinet, has joined us as the programme’s Patron.


This year, we have been helping young men reduce their risk of reoffending though our personal development programme. Our links with other local organisations prepare inmates for independent living, broaden the range of education and employment opportunities available, and guide young men into positive desinations on release.

We give participants the chance to ‘learn by doing’. During the year 426 men and women participated in our programmes in the UK, in addition to a further 67 who engaged with our Moving On: Malawi programme.

“Here in jail I have managed to do school. As I am writing, I am waiting for my Malawi Certificate of Education exam results. I have also kept my self busy with the Venture Trust activities and I have my friends that help me. We work together as a team to help change our lives.”

“Since I was born I was taught that there was no chance in my life for a change. Starting the time I met Venture Trust my life has been changed because I learnt that I have the chance for change and also learnt that we can make plans. Because what we have done can not change, but we can make today better than yesterday.” “After finishing my sentence I wish I could start again what I was doing in the past. I had a barbershop and what I am looking forward is to find barber equipments and open a barbershop as a means of earning a living while also working with Venture Trust so that other people may learn how to stay out of prison and how bad is the situation there, that they can take an example of me.”


Looking forwards 22

As our participants look forward to more positive futures, so we as an organisation must also look ahead to the coming years. We champion collabarative working, and have built a network of over 200 referrers and partners across the UK.

Much like our participants, we have goals for the future: increasing our stability, developing new and stronger relationships, and maintaining a strong and dynamic staff team. We have ambitious plans to support more people in the Scottish criminal justice system, to reach out to care leavers in new areas, and to expand geographically in England and Wales. Alongside these new developments, we will enhance our existing programmes by continuing to work closely with partners, referrers and participants. Their feedback ensures our work remains innovative and responsive to the needs of those we work with. Our commitment to partnership working remains absolute, and in these financially testing times it is more important than ever that we work effectively with other experts in the sector.

“My ambitions are to settle down, with a proper family and my own house. A good job – even if that means going to lots of interviews – I want a good job, a steady job, not a dead end job. A job I can progress in. And I want to stay out of trouble – that’s a biggie.” We also take seriously our responsibility in demonstrating the long-term positive impact of our work, and believe that by sharing experiences we can shape and inform strategy, policies and plans affecting the individuals we work with.


Financial summary Our accounts for 2010/11 demonstrate that the year was one of consolidation and development of existing programmes, with additional capacity focused on delivering new programmes and initiatives. Income for the year rose by £208,556 (8%), with a significant increase in donations on previous years, mainly resulting from our selection for the Guardian and Observer Christmas Appeal 2010. We continue to work towards further diversifying our funding streams to maintain a solid financial basis for our work. Expenditure for the year rose by £695,395 (33%), reflecting the continued growth of existing programmes and the development of new work. Staff numbers increased for the second year from 54 to 69 employees. Following significant investment in equipment in 2010 (relating to the commencement of new programmes) this has returned to lower levels in 2011. Our deficit for the year of £63,359 reflected the use of programme funds brought forward from previous years, along with those funds provided for capital purchases in 2010. At the end of March 2011 the book value of fixed assets was £497,363. There were current assets, including cash balances, of £450,623 and liabilities falling due within one year of £350,053. Net assets at the end of March 2011 totalled £597,933.


Total reserves held at the end of March 2011 of £597,933 included £324,220 of restricted funds received for capital purchases. Unrestricted reserves increased again this year to £273,713. We expect to continue growth of our reserves over the next five years to fulfil our policy of holding reserves to cover three months’ operational costs.




Grants from statutory bodies



Grants from trusts & foundations













National Lottery grants Donations Interest receivable Other income Total








Programme costs



Premises costs



Support costs







Fundraising & publicity Staff costs

Governance costs Total


1% 11%


46% 53%

Income 2011



Income 2010

7% 1%






Expenditure 2011

Expenditure 2010

Trustees’ statement These summarised financial statements incorporate all the operations of Venture Trust and are intended to give the reader an assessment of the overall financial position but are not the statutory accounts. This information is taken from the audited financial accounts, upon which the auditors’ opinion was unqualified. The full report and accounts were approved by the trustees on 11 September 2011 and have been submitted to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, the Registrar of Companies, and the Charity Commission. A copy is freely available from Venture Trust’s office on request, or online at the Charity Commission’s website.

Signed on behalf of the board: Sheriff David N Mackie, Chairman


Our supporters – thank you We’re grateful to all those who’ve supported us this year, including but not limited to the following. Thank you, we couldn’t do it without you.

Aberdeen University Charities Campaign Agnes Hunter Trust Big Lottery Fund – Awards for All

HSBC Holdings Plc Inspiring Scotland James Weir Foundation

Scottish Business Achievement Award Trust (SBAAT) SMB Charitable Trust SPIFOX The 218 Centre, Glasgow

Big Lottery Fund - Investing in Ideas

John Watson’s Trust

Cashback for Communities

J S F Pollitzer Charitable Trust

The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation

Comic Relief

Leeds Building Society Charitable Foundation

The Clothworkers’ Foundation

Dr Guthrie’s Association Edinburgh Airport Community Fund European Social Fund Garfield Weston Foundation 26

Harold Adams Charitable Trust


MacRobert Merchants House of Glasgow Miss EC Hendry Trust Robert Gordon University RAG

The Cross Trust The Dulverton Trust The Freemasons’ Grand Charity for young people from England and Wales

The Gannochy Trust The Goldsmiths’ Company The KPMG Foundation The Mackintosh Foundation The Martin Connell Charitable Trust The Monument Trust The People’s Postcode Trust The Rank Foundation The Rayne Foundation The Robertson Trust The Scottish Government The Sofronie Foundation The Souter Charitable Trust The Volant Charitable Trust United For All Wessex Youth Trust Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank Foundation

All our participants whose quotes, stories Clackmannanshire Council

and images appear in this review .

Dundee City Council

Angus McLeod

East Ayrshire Council

Caryn Robertson

Edinburgh City Council

Clare Tougher, in memory of Jonathan Tougher

Glasgow City Council Inverclyde Council North Ayrshire Council West Dunbartonshire Council West Lothian Council

Karl Wills Stephanie Dowling Susan Dalgety All our partners who’ve referred and supported our participants


Venture Trust Annual Review 2010-2011  

Summary of activities over the last 12 months

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