First Secretary of State Damian Green, met with participants of Venture Trust’s Positive Futures programme at the organisation’s head office in Edinburgh, to find out how the scheme has changed things for them.

The event provided a chance for the veterans to discuss their experiences on the Positive Futures programme, and the impact it has had on their lives. It was also an opportunity for them to speak with the First Secretary about the support available for the small but significant number of veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life.

Kick started by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) in 2015, Positive Futures recently benefitted from significant LIBOR funding to extend the programme to 2021. Venture Trust, working closely with other veterans’ organisations, supports veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life. The Positive Futures programme includes an intensive wilderness journey in the wilds of Scotland, where outdoor activity and experiential learning techniques are used as a mechanism for unlocking and redeploying skills, building confidence and raising aspiration. Following this journey, the participants, of all ages and length of service, are given support to achieve their goals. For many this will result in utilising the skills learnt in service, and applying these skills to prepare them for employment, education, training or volunteering.

For some, leaving military life behind can lead to very challenging life circumstances such as homelessness, isolation, addiction, abuse, breakdown of family relations, and long term unemployment. These veterans have already taken huge steps towards positive change. Just arriving at Venture Trust has been an achievement.

The event took place at Venture Trust’s head office in Edinburgh on 30 November. The First Secretary visited the offices to meet with Venture Trust’s Head of Operations, Mike Strang, and to find out a little more about the work that is being done, not just to help our veterans, but for all those in need of support. The First Secretary was shown a film on the Positive Futures programme, and then enjoyed coffee and cake where he was able to meet with the participants and hear their own personal stories.

Mike Strang, Head of Operations at Venture Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful for the LIBOR funding. The funding is an endorsement of our work to date with veterans, and extends the Positive Futures programme until 2021 which means Venture Trust can help 180 more ex-servicemen and women struggling with the transition to civilian life.

“We were also delighted the First Secretary could visit Venture Trust and spend some time hearing about the impact of the Positive Futures programme along with the other programmes Venture Trust offers for people in need.”

First Secretary of State, Damian Green, said: “It has been great to meet the veterans today and see first-hand how the Venture Trust is making a truly positive impact in their lives.

“The Government has secured Libor funding for organisations like Venture Trust to help support the wellbeing of our service leavers and see that they transition successfully into civilian life.

“The Government has enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law.  As co-chair of the Military Covenant Board I want to make sure that Service Personnel, Veterans, and their families are all treated fairly and receive the support they deserve.” 

For further details of the Venture Trust’s Positive Futures programme, visit: