Children's Holiday Venture

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Children's Holiday Venture (CHV) is a recognised society of Edinburgh University and the UK's only fully student-run children's charity. It works with 120 children aged between eight and sixteen years old from socially deprived areas of Edinburgh such as Niddrie, Bingham, Pilton, Craigmillar, Granton and Muirhouse.

The society, which has been running since 1963, aims to give these children the support, time and fun that they need. They do this by regularly taking the children out on fortnightly evening activities with student volunteers as well as on day trips and weekend camps where possible. The activities are all operated by use of the CHV minibuses.

CHV works with children referred by teachers and social workers. They are children who will benefit from the individual attention provided. CHV offer a supportive framework through regular long-term contact and a child to student ratio of roughly 3:2. This enables the children to develop self-confidence through individual interaction and encourages them to express themselves as individuals and within a group situation.

There are over eighty volunteers, the majority of whom are students at the University of Edinburgh, although all interested parties are welcome. Two groups of student volunteers operate each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening during term time.

The administration is managed by a committee of seventeen, who meet on a weekly to fortnightly basis. CHV is a fully constituted society affiliated to the Edinburgh University Students' Association Societies' Centre.

The areas the children come from have a higher incidence of unemployment, poorer housing and more limited facilities compared with the Edinburgh average (2001 Census).

Some popular evening activities are swimming, trampolining, ice skating or craft nights. Day trips often involve a selection of these activities or driving further afield to visit a place of interest for example Stirling Castle or Blair Drummond Safari Park. Weekend camps are held at outdoors centres throughout Scotland and the North of England. Camp activities include going to the beach, karting, farm visits, midnight forest walks, highland trips, craftwork, sledging, falconry and lots of silly games.

CHV's invome comes primarily from donations from individuals and grant-giving organisations as well as fundraising events. These events include bake sales, an annual ball or ceilidh and the annual sponsored hitch-hike back to Edinburgh from a mystery location three hours outside of the city centre, "Stranded".

Edinburgh University Children's Holiday Venture is a registered charity, No. SC007496 and is regulated by the Youth Scotland Area Association and Affiliated Clubs and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

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