Project information

24 young people to achieve an SCQF Qualifcation

We run personal development programmes for young people facing complex and difficult problems. Traditional classroom-based learning doesn’t work well for our target group so we use engaging outdoor activities. The Etive Award will allow them to gain what is probably their first qualification ever!

From 1 month to 18 months depending on the SCQF level undertaken

Charity information: Venture Scotland

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  • Need


    The young people we work with have many complex issues - most are care experienced, some are homeless, have learning difficulties and nearly all have mental health issues. We can offer an accredited qualification which is an inclusive experience for all young people without barriers to participation, especially for those affected by dyslexia or poor literacy levels - most of them have no previous qualifications.


    We are offering a custom SCQF Award called The Etive Award, named after our highland bothy where the young people learn, experience and apply their new found skills during residentials. Through Session Plans we have developed an audit trail of what each young person learns, hopefully in a way that doesn’t scare them off with fears that “it’s just like school”, which reflects the efforts made by young people and provides a clear measurement of actual progress made.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We will help 24 young people to achieve at least a SCQF level 3 and up to level 7 Award


    » Using engaging physical activities we will teach new skills including team work, communication and planning.
    » The outdoor activities provide sufficient motivation and direction to progress though the programme and achieve higher qualifications.
    » As well as group work we will carry out structured one to one work with participants to focus on key areas where they need support.

    24 young people will have achieved an award

    Aim 2

    Significantly improve mental health and well being


    » By taking young people outdoors and giving them new tasks and experiences they can develop skills to improve resilience, belonging and self confidence
    » Being in an environment free from abuse, temptation and repetition and only giving them positive experiences.
    » For 12 months they develop key relationships with staff and volunteers who help them make positive lasting changes to their lives based on trust.
    » We will work with individuals to help them improve ability to develop positive relationships, live healthily, and increase responsibility/reliability

    Our monitoring database is young person friendly and they update their own record with progress in their own problem areas.

  • Impact


    As well as gaining a recognised Etive Award qualification young people will experience improved health and well-being and will have significantly reduced a key problem area (eg. drugs, offending, mental health). Young people will graduate and successfully gain employment, further education or training opportunities.
    We can demonstrate these changes through our monitoring and evaluation database used by young people to monitor their progress through the course and beyond.


    We have been working hard with SQA to ensure we gain accreditation - all correspondence has been positive so far.
    Not recruiting enough young people onto the programme could potentially influence the success of this project. Our programme managers have been working hard at developing relationships with referral agencies to ensure we have a good flow of new young people to take on activity days and sample what we have to offer them.


    All donors are thanked at point of support. We produce an annual review and also invite them to sign up for our quarterly newsletter which gives further information on our programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £8,000 Activity days and Residentals 24 young people will attend activity days and residentials as part of our Etive Award programme.
      £1,000 Volunteers Food, expenses, training and support for volunteers to support young people
      £1,000 Minibus costs Fuel for activity days and trips to residentials at our bothies in the highlands and borders
  • Background


    We work with young people from some of the poorest, most deprived areas of Scotland across the whole central belt area, from Ayrshire to Perthshire and East Lothian. They include care leavers, ex-offenders, homeless, drug and alcohol abusers and those with learning difficulties. All our participants also display some form of mental health issues, are living on the edge and often depend on food bank handouts or the generosity of friends to get by.


    We focus on those young people from the most deprived areas who lack confidence, esteem or even basic literacy skills. They have had a poor and inconsistent education and subsequently have little or no prospects of gaining qualifications, entering further education or training, let alone employment. They lack self belief, essential skills and the empowerment to build positive relationships with their peers and adults that will enable them to make a successful transition into adulthood.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Working from our two centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh we have 29 years of experience working with care leavers, ex-offenders, homeless and those affected by mental and physical health problems. Our objective is to affect profound and lasting change through using outdoor and recreational activities (such as canoeing, climbing, walking and weaselling delivered by our qualified and highly experienced staff and dedicated volunteers) as part of a structured development programme to bring about change

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Our amazing volunteers attend residential trips with young people helping to deliver tailored exercises which challenge and inspire young people

    Outdoor Youth Workers

    All our OYWs are committed to helping young people turn their own lives around by giving them a positive role model and teaching them essential skills

The team at Venture Scotland helped me a lot. Spending time outdoors gave me some time to myself to think about my goals what I wanted for my life. Before coming to Venture Scotland I had a criminal history, took drugs and had been in prison. Now I'm focussed on my job and my future.