Our Focus

Macaroni Wood was initially set up in London in the early 1970s with the idea of giving children a countryside break from their inner city lives on the council estates of Deptford. From these small beginnings – when we were only open for the school holiday periods and used tents to sleep in and had very basic cooking and washing facilities – we can now offer two well equipped, modern units that are open throughout the year.

We now have comfortable, warm, energy efficient, accommodation for up to 42 people. Bazley House sleeps 27 people and in 1996 we raised funds to build Castree House that was designed specifically for people with disabilities and sleeps 15.

We are part funded by the London Borough of Lewisham and offer free accommodation to all Lewisham based groups in Bazley House

The Centre has the use of 17 acres of woodland and we have many outdoor facilities that allow children and young people to play and explore safely. We have specialist play equipment for people with disabilities. Macaroni Wood allows children, young people and adults to experience new ideas and opportunities and can lead to them engaging in decision making and team leadership skills for the first time in their lives. The centre also supports children and young people to feel empowered and capable of achieving and acting differently on their return to inner city life.

Who We Work With

We give priority to Lewisham groups working with disadvantaged people. The demand for the Centre is such that we have developed this statement to help us prioritise applications, to ensure that we make best use of our resources.

Groups we work with will have/do all (or most) of the following:

  • Aims and objectives (a purpose) for their visit
  • Competent staff (paid or unpaid) with an identified Leader accompanying the group and appropriate staffing levels
  • At least one staff member is not accompanied by their own children
  • Accountable to the wider community
  • Produce accounts
  • A recognised group with a formal structure/purpose
  • Own public liability insurance
  • Affiliation to a recognised organisation
  • Constitution
  • Elected management committee
  • Open access to all who meet their criteria
  • Will work with different users on each visit during the year
  • Are non profit-making organisations

We will work with self help groups who will not be able to comply with the above for a year from their first booking, to give them a chance to develop formal structures etc.

Generally, we do not work with:

  • Main stream education (see Note 1)
  • Uniform groups

We will not work with:

  • “Spin-offs”
  • Groups that are “exclusive/cliques”
  • Unstructured groups of friends and family
  • Groups where a working relationship between staff and clients has not been established

If we are in doubt about a group, we will limit access to one booking a year.

Note 1:

The Centre will be available to school groups on a Monday-Friday basis during the Autumn and Spring terms.

The Venture is committed to policy and practice in respect of Equal Opportunities, and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, be it based upon race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief or age.