Our first group of six participants have successfully completed our 12-week Venture Academy Course!

Venture Academy is an exciting outdoor course for 16-25 year olds which gives young people the opportunity to learn more about the outdoor industry by taking part in a range of exciting outdoor activities.

The programme which has been put together and organised by staff here at YMCA Tayside has been generously funded by the Perth and Kinross Council. The programme allows young people to gain qualifications and learn a number of hard and soft skills.

Over the course of 12-weeks, our Venture Academy group have gone canoeing, kayaking, climbing, abseiling and white water rafting. During this time they have also gained their First Aid Certificate, Paddle Discover Award and their Nicas Level 1 Indoor Climbing Wall qualification.

For YMCA Tayside it was important that we teamed up with a range of different outdoor providers to give the young people involved the best experience possible. As a result, outdoor activities were delivered by Beyond Adventure, Tayside Mountain Rescue, Willowgate, Outdoor Pursuit and Wee Adventure!

All of the outdoor providers that we worked with said they had a great time and they are keen to take part in delivering activities to our next Venture Academy group in the near future. They also felt like this programme was something that the outdoor industry was lacking and think it is great in that it is providing a stepping stone for young people who want to learn more about the industry and how to get involved!

These new experiences have helped to push the young people involved out of their comfort zones and has helped to build their confidence tremendously! They now have improved communication and teamwork skills and we have seen them become even braver and more inspired young people!

Here is what some of the young people thought about the Venture Academy programme:

“Learning whilst doing the activities allowed us to gain more range of qualifications and awards.”

“It was really good to get outside and socialise. It was good for my mental and physical wellbeing.”

Barry Davidson, YMCA Tayside’s Operations Manager, says they plan to run two more Venture Academy groups this year and will be taking up to eight young people per group. “On a whole, the programme has been a huge success. All the young people who have been involved said they really enjoyed it. They’ve all learned new things about themselves.”

This is an incredible way for young people to gain insight into a fantastic industry and to learn new skills! If this sounds like something you, or a young person you know, would enjoy then please feel free to contact barry@ymcatayside.com