Blackstone and Venture Trust

Working with Venture Trust and Impetus-PEF was a fantastic experience. It’s really fulfilling to know that my expertise and pro bono support will increase the impact they have on the lives of disadvantaged young people.

Julie Chang, Blackstone


Pro bono supporterBlackstone
Charity partner: Venture Trust
Project type:
 Market review

Why the project was needed:

Venture Trust helps people in Scotland to overcome complicated or chaotic life circumstances by offering an intensive training programme, based both in the wilderness and in their local community. The participants gain confidence, motivation and life skills to make a positive change, and move into education, employment or training.

Venture Trust supports people with experience of being in care, abuse, drug and / or alcohol addiction, homelessness, long-term unemployment or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Impetus-PEF has helped Venture Trust to refine who they work with (target population) and understand whether some people’s needs were too great for them to really make a difference. This is so that they can have the highest impact for the people they support.

In clarifying who Venture Trust would help, it raised the issue of where they should work. In the past, Venture Trust has worked all across Scotland. However, given that Venture Trust has limited resources as a charity, and that the people they support are a particularly hard to reach group, they had to know where their services would be most needed. So Impetus-PEF reached out to Blackstone.

What the project involved: 

The project started with an initial call between Blackstone, Impetus-PEF and Venture Trust – to set out the scope and timelines for the project.

Blackstone provided one of their skilled associates, Julie Chang to work on the project around her busy day job. Over the course of six weeks, Julie collected and analysed publicly available data on areas where socio-economic deprivation, drug and / or alcohol issues, and involvement with the criminal justice system were prevalent in Scotland.  

She provided regular updates on her progress to the Venture Trust team, before finally presenting her insights using data visualisation software (Tableau) to their senior management team and Board of Trustees. 

Impact of the project: 

Thanks to Julie and Blackstone, Venture Trust can now make better strategic decisions on where to deliver their services. They've chosen to consolidate their work into the geographical areas where Blackstone’s analysis showed the greatest numbers of people with the most significant barriers to employment. This provides strong evidence for Venture Trust’s discussions with funders and referral partners in these areas. These findings will also be valuable in deciding on areas for Venture Trust to target in the future, when they’re in a position to expand their work.


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