Treun – Gaelic for ‘Brave’

We work with vulnerable young people, who are experiencing mental health challenges and may have complex needs. We help them develop transferable skills, emotional coping strategies and confidence to keep learning and find ways into employment.

How we do it

Treun involves trails in the most remote and beautiful parts of Scotland, helping grow participants’ confidence, self care and love of the outdoors and along with employability and social skills.

Partnered by Scottish Land & Estates, the project connects young people with the wonders of the natural world in rural Scotland. Aside from the many benefits to youth’s social and physical well-being, Treun will improve young peoples mental health and in turn improve their employability skills.

The programme

Treun is a week long therapeutic, experiential learning programme in rural Scotland. The programme features a three-day wilderness trail in some of Scotland’s wildest countryside, led by professional wilderness guides and therapists.

The programme is open to young people aged 14-16 from one of our 40 partner schools across Scotland. We run 4-6 cohorts each year, with groups of up to 8 young people per cohort.


Improved mental health and employability:

  • Develop and improve personal and social skills for life including confidence, overall wellbeing, self-esteem, self-care and self-reflection
  • Improve resilience and mental wellbeing
  • Improve physical and emotional health
  • Develop emotional coping strategies that can be used for life

Increased nature connection and tools for helping the environment:

  • Increase their connection to nature, Scottish Outdoor Access Code/Leave No Trace Principles
  • Increase their knowledge of Scotland’s wildlife and natural heritage
  • Increase their understanding of Scotland’s land and estates and rural heritage
  • Encourage and learn about volunteering
  • Learn camp craft and how to access nature and the outdoors

Increased employability and leadership pathways:

  • Improve aspiration and confidence to seek work or further studies
  • Learn and apply new communication skills
  • Improve and learn new employability skills
  • For those who show interest and aptitude there will be a leadership development pathway
  • Development of an alumni group for ongoing mutual support and personal growth


In the course of the week-long programme, participants achieve the SQA Level 4 Award in Mental Health & Wellbeing.  In addition, participants will also earn their John Muir Award Discovery Level and Leave No Trace Awareness certification. These recognitions enhance not only participants’ mental health & wellbeing but also their environmental awareness and employability.

Following graduation, our Scotland manager continues to engage Treun participants with mentoring and ongoing therapeutic support when required.

The Need

A survey by the Mental Health Foundation (2019), of 609 Scottish young people aged 16–25 showed that:


of young adults feel they are unable to speak about their emotions with others


of young people say they often feel they lack companionship


of young people say they feel they don’t have a trusted adult to go to for advice and support if they’re experiencing a problem

These problems disproportionately affect youth from lower income households and areas of deprivation (Scottish Children’s Services Coalition 2019) along with evidence that mental health issues and unemployability are linked.

Our Impact

Our programme aims to help improve mental health and positively influence young adults to avoid becoming Not In Education, Employment or Training (NEET). Supporting positive change in their lives for improved personal sustainability and independence by studying, taking on an apprenticeship or working. There is a large body of research, including our own, that provides evidence of the positive links between nature based experiences, self esteem, mental wellbeing and employability.

“..At first I was very nervous about attending, I hadn’t been on many trips away from my family but the atmosphere felt like home. I loved every minute of it and found all of the activities we did incredibly interesting. It was great having such positive and supportive people around you. I took so much away with me including lots of new skills, also beautiful memories that will stay with me forever..” 

Eilidh - participant

Programme Dates 2021

Our new programme TREUN has places available for young people in Scotland, aged 14-16 years. Due to Covid 19 the locations and dates are still to be confirmed.

Contact our Scotland Manager Myles for more information


How you can help