Skip to main content


THE VENCHIE aims to improve the lives of children and young people in Craigmillar by offering opportunities for education, social development, improved health and fun.

Our History

The Venchie was formerly known as Niddrie Adventure Playground and was created in 1961 by Edinburgh University Settlement, making it possibly the first adventure playground in Scotland. Save the Children managed and funded (with some grant aid from the local authority) from 1967 until 1998.

For 60+ years, ‘The Venchie’ (as it is known locally) has been widely used by generations of young people living and growing up in the local area. It has grown and developed over time: new playground structures, a new building, new activities, new children’s work programmes.The project has always tried to reflect the best practice in its work with children and young people, and to provide the highest quality of service to families and to the local community.

Providing a helping hand

More than

200 Activity

More than


More than

4000 FOOD

During Covid we provided 1000’s of meals, helped 500 local families, gave out 100’s of art activity packs and 1000’s of food parcels, still
today we run a food pantry every two weeks and give out food parcels to those who need.

Who we work with

We work with children and young people from the Greater Craigmillar area and their families. Whilst no children are excluded, our primary focus is on children and young people living in the area bound by Milton Road West, Duddingston Road West, Duddingston Park South, Peffermill Road and The Wisp.

Our play activities are targeted at several different groups between 5 and 14 years old. Each of the different programmes is focussed on the needs of a particular group of children and young people in the local community.

Our activities are targeted at several different groups. Each of the different programmes is focussed on the needs of the babies, toddlers, children, young people and their families within the local community.

Get in touch

Our Aims


To provide alternative, and informal educational opportunities, for children and young people in Craigmillar.

Objectives for Aim 1

  • To run an activity based programme of clubs for children aged 5 – 16.
  • To ensure the programme is age appropriate.
  • To maximise the use of resources to support educational need.
  • To promote collaborative work.


To develop social and interpersonal skills, in children and young people in Craigmillar.

Objectives for Aim 2

  • To provide activities which encourage and develop positive interaction.
  • To provide a safe environment which encourages children and young people to explore and challenge their own value base.
  • To offer opportunities for children and young people to explore other environments and cultures.


To provide information on, and promote awareness of, healthy lifestyles.

Objectives for Aim 3

  • To provide opportunities which encourage children and young people to try new and different foods.
  • To develop children and young peoples understanding of nutrition and origins of food.
  • To encourage and develop an understanding of personal hygiene.
  • To promote awareness of healthy / positive lifestyle through issue based work.


To offer a safe and comfortable environment where children and young people can have fun.

Objectives for Aim 4

  • To ensure children are treated fairly and with respect.
  • To ensure children and young people are encouraged and supported to express their views and opinions.
  • To offer opportunities that encourages and develops an awareness of the links between the right to have un and the responsibilities that go with it.

What we do

The Venchie has 60+ years’ experience of working with children and young people in greater Craigmillar and has always adapted and developed its programme to reflect the changing needs of its users including younger and older people in the community.

Our Programmes

  • Open access February mid term, Easter, Summer and October mid term holiday programmes for local children and young people.
  • An after school, term time, programme, which focuses on developing children skills through play and social opportunities
  • PANDAS (Breakfast Club) working with 34 referred children who have attendance issues.
  • Older people’s project, with weekly meet ups.
  • Parent/Toddlers groups running three morning per week
  • Food Poverty/holiday hunger
  • Period Poverty
  • Nappy Poverty

The Venchie Children and Young Peoples Project

The Venchie is situated in Craigmillar, in the southeast of Edinburgh, and provides children, young people and their families in the Greater Craigmillar area with a range of play, recreation and issue-based work within a purpose-built centre, on grounds of an Adventure Playground. The building is accessible to people with disabilities, and we are registered under the Care Inspectorate. The building comprises an arts and crafts room, sports hall, kitchen, office, meeting room / computer room and a large communal area to which all the other rooms are connected. The building sits within over half an acre of land which makes up the Playground. This area has a range of high-quality manufacturer designed fixed play equipment, a MUGA (multi use gaming area), swings and a sand play area. The location, building and grounds provide an environment conducive to delivering a range of developmental opportunities for all.

We offer an innovative Breakfast Club (PANDAS) the first BC in Scotland. Pandas focuses on families who are needing support in getting their children to school on time.  Agencies and parents/carers can refer to PANDAS.   We run a popular weekly Parent/Toddler group that enables parents/carers to play with their children. School holiday programmes are run during February, Easter, Summer and October breaks. Throughout our programmes we address food poverty by offering healthy snacks to everyone who comes to the Venchie.