Jane is just 21 years old. She was referred to Venture Trust in April 2016 through the Reconnect Women’s Group that runs through the Criminal Justice Team in the Borders. Jane had been long term unemployed, struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, and negative relationships which led her astray, and contributed to her involvement with the criminal justice system. At the time of being referred to Venture Trust, Jane had got to a stage where she wanted to make positive changes in her life; she was engaging with an employability programme and also working part time. However, this was followed by a difficult period which saw Jane returning to negative patterns, which in turn led to her losing both employment opportunities.
Jane attended the Venture Trust Next Steps course in May 2016. She was determined to attend the course and was keen to make positive changes and work on the things with which she was struggling. She returned with a detailed action plan, goals for the future, and a positive course report.
Jane had received continued support from her Venture Trust Outreach Worker to help her in achieving the goals set out in her action plan at the start of the Next Steps journey. She also attended Venture Trust’s Speak Up employability sessions and continued to make positive steps forward. However, she was still battling with some areas of her life such as looking after her health and wellbeing, and motivating herself when things got difficult.
In August 2016 Jane was struggling and felt she had no support from local services as her Payback Order had finished. Jane’s Venture Trust Outreach Worker referred her to a Shine Mentor in the Borders (where Jane lived) who offered much needed support and encouragement. Venture Trust also offered Jane a place on its Living Wild 10 day wilderness journey which would further her personal development, build confidence and skill, and help her to achieve her goals.
The course started in September 2016 following a period of preparation. Jane really benefitted from attending the course and together with her Shine mentor, she started to make some significant progress.
In October 2016 Jane was offered a place on the Venture Trusts Reaching Higher employability programme which comprised four weeks of pre-employability training, followed by a three day residential. Individuals would be assessed on their work-ready status, and those participants demonstrating the right skills would be offered a placement with a partner organisation. Jane was offered two of the Reaching Higher paid positions, one with Venture Trust and one with Move On, and after speaking with her Outreach Worker, she decided to take the position with Move On in Edinburgh.
Since then, Jane has done really well and travels from Galashiels to Edinburgh four days a week to work. She has also just received the news that her contract, which was due to finish in June, has now been extended to December 2017.
Jane continues to receive support from those at Reaching Higher, her Shine mentor, and Venture Trust, with budgeting, housing, family concerns and alcohol use. However, she relies on this less and less as she becomes more independent and sees her life progressing in a positive direction.
For more information about Next Steps programme, please see: http://www.venturetrust.org.uk/programmes/next-steps/
About Venture Trust
Venture Trust believes that people have the ability to make positive changes in their lives for a more productive future. Venture Trust supports people who are struggling with complicated life circumstances such as being ‘looked after’ by Local Authorities, involvement in offending, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, caring responsibilities and other complications in their lives. These situations are often compounded by lack of access to services or low educational achievement, leaving them isolated, marginalised or in poverty. Venture Trust offers a three-phase personal and social development programme, working in communities across Scotland. The programme involves an intensive wilderness-based element, mentoring, and employability support which aims to help people unlock their potential. This may be better communication skills, consequential thinking and building positive relationships with others, growing in confidence and self-esteem, or moving towards education, training and employment. For more information, please visit www.venturetrust.org.uk.