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Thanks to all your generous Gift Your Gear donations, we’re able to support organisations from all around the country. One of the charities that has benefitted from your preloved kit, is Venture Scotland.

Venture Scotland recognises the many benefits that being outdoors can have on our mental health and wellbeing, and they implement this into the support they offer. They run a long-term, outdoor based personal development programme for individuals aged 16-30, who may be struggling to cope with mental health issues, past traumas, or homelessness.



This programme runs through the lens of Scottish nature, providing participants with access to the great outdoors, in a non-judgemental, safe space. Offering fun challenges, outdoor activities, and a fresh perspective on life, the programme is designed to be fun and exciting, ensuring that participants have brand new experiences whilst being challenged, pushed outside of their comfort zones, and are given the space to learn new things in a way, and at a pace that suits everyone. The programme allows participants to discover and understand their emotions while exploring alongside their community, providing them with leadership opportunities, which helps them to trust in themselves and work together.

The activities provided through this programme range from initial ice breaker games, rock climbing, canoeing, gorge walking, and a camping residential at a bothy (shepherd’s cottage), where they play a range of games, head for walks in the hills, and cook together. Learning about themselves, and one another along the way. These activities go hand in hand with life skill sessions and 1:1 support sessions, to ensure participants are getting the best possible support.

Venture Scotland have been involved with our Gift Your Gear Initiative since 2020, when they first received donations. In recent donations, they’ve received a range of outdoor clothing, but the kit most useful for them has been walking shoes and hiking boots. Katie from Venture Scotland informed us that “It is really hard to come by walking boots or good quality shoes that allow our participants to do independent exploring as well as the group activities”.


Staff at Venture Scotland unpacking boxes of Gift Your Gear donations


By donating during our Gift Your Gear campaign, you’re directly contributing to a cycle of sustainability, enabling organisations such as Venture Scotland to get young people kitted out, allowing them to not only complete beneficial programmes, but to continue to adventure with the appropriate kit that’ll see them through hikes, climbs, and generally enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer.



When asking Katie to share some of her favourite moments from something that Gift Your Gear helped to achieve, she shared some photos of participants kitted out in donated gear, playing a traditional Venture Scotland game, called ‘Bridge the Gap’, where participants build on problem solving and team building skills by trusting one another. “This is one of the early games that we play with groups, and it was great to have them kitted out so that they were warm enough and had their waterproofs on so they were not afraid to try new things and make mistakes, which in this game, can mean landing in the mud!”. 


Group members at Venture Scotland playing Bridge the Gap

Venture Scotland icebreaker game, ‘Bridge the Gap’. 


Last year, Venture Scotland’s participants agreed with the following statements: 
 - My self-awareness has improved 
 - My social awareness had improved 
 - I feel more confident about my future 
Katie from Venture Scotland told us that “Most days, when we are out on activities, at least one participant has some item of Gift Your Gear clothing on”. She stated that Gift Your Gear supports Venture Scotland meet one of their long-term objectives, which is enabling young people to be able to continue with the skills they have learnt, and the activities they’ve enjoyed. She tells us a story of a previous participant who had never camped before, that fell in love with it whilst out with Venture Scotland. They were interested in continuing camping, and thanks to Gift Your Gear, Venture Scotland were able to offer waterproofs, fleeces, a hat, gloves, socks, and a pair of walking shoes that fit, and were comfortable – providing this participant with everything they needed for spending a couple of nights in their tent. “Safe, warm, and delighted to be able to continue with a new hobby that meant so much to them”.

After completing the programme with Venture Scotland, participants will feel supported, confident, and ready to navigate the next stage of their lives, whether it’s a new job, further education, volunteering, etc., providing the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to have a fresh perspective on life.



For more information on Venture Scotland and all the fantastic work they do, visit their website, Instagram, or Facebook.

To learn more about our Gift Your Gear initiative, visit our Gift Your Gear page here.