Noah’s Ark Children’s Venture is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. We offer well-equipped, low cost residential accommodation in a peaceful rural setting that enables groups working with their client groups to achieve their aims and objectives within a safe, secure environment that offers support and understanding to everyone who comes.
We are used by a very wide range of organisations from the voluntary and statutory sector including youth clubs, schools, colleges, community groups and support groups working with children, young people and adults from all backgrounds and ages from pre-school to senior citizen.
Richard has run Noah’s Ark since the 1970’s.
Liz has been there every step of the way with Richard. Liz handles the behind the scenes at the Woods and makes sure the place keeps running smoothly.
As assistant centre manager, Marcus is responsible for most of the day to day activities of the centre.
The Venture was established in the late 1960’s to provide an opportunity for children to have a respite break, away from London, during the long school summer vacation. The holidays were very therapeutic for the children and their families and their value recognised to such an extent that a goal was set by the youth workers to find a permanent site for their work.
In 1971, by a series of fortunate circumstances, our needs were made known to Sir Thomas and Lady Bazley who gave the Venture the opportunity to use an area of woodland as a summer camp for youth groups working with children from Deptford and other areas of inner London. The summer was a great success and we were delighted to be offered the permanent use of three old RAF buildings in the wood, on a secure tenancy, to develop as a residential centre.
In 1979 the charity was successful with an Urban Aid bid and some much needed renovation work was carried out including the installation of a central heating system and shower and toilet facilities. Funding was also made available to
This core funding was taken over by the London Borough of Lewisham in 1982 and to this day Lewisham continues to support the Venture by financing a proportion of our running costs. In addition we have always successfully maintained our own fundraising strategy to improve and create additional facilities for our user groups. The Centre is well respected and used throughout the year by a wide range of statutory and voluntary organisations that recognise the value of a therapeutic break from the stresses and strains of inner city life.