The Noah’s Ark Children’s Venture at Macaroni Wood has a long history of providing, high quality, low cost residential facilities to groups working with disadvantaged children, young people and adults from the inner city.


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 employ a centre manager and deputy centre manager on a full-time basis.


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.