Edinburgh Local

Children’s Holiday Venture

For over 50 years, a student volunteering society has been helping children from disadvantaged areas of Edinburgh to have fun.

CHV volunteers
CHV volunteers have fun with the children

Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening in term time, volunteers from the Children’s Holiday Venture (CHV) student society run free activity nights for local children from disadvantaged backgrounds in and around the city.  

The students make a real difference to the lives of the children they work with.

They provide a space where kids can let go, have fun and try new activities in a safe and supportive environment.  This helps them to make friends, build bonds with the volunteers and gain the confidence to work with others and try new things.  

Volunteers, the majority of whom are students at the University of Edinburgh, run all aspects of these trips, from raising funds, to planning the event, to picking up and dropping off the kids in their two minibuses, Doris and Moira.

Group Leaders are always thinking up new activities, but some favourites are ice skating, swimming, scavenger hunts and pottery painting.


‘We work with ‘little kids’ aged 8-12 and ‘big kids’ aged 12-16, mostly from Niddrie and Pilton.  As well as evening excursions, we organise day trips and sleep-away camps which are always a big hit with the kids and are sure to provide lasting memories. Children’s Holiday Venture has been committed to improving the lives of children for over 50 years, so we’re very excited to see what the next 50 years will bring!

Sophia DonVito, President of Children’s Holiday Venture student society

This volunteering society was established in 1963, celebrating its 50thbirthday in 2013, and it continues to fulfil the vision of its founders – to provide a safe, supportive and fun environment for the children and young people it works with, and to offer them opportunities they might not normally have.

Volunteers work with approximately 120 children between the ages of 8-16 from areas of Edinburgh which have higher levels of unemployment, poorer housing and fewer recreational facilities than the Edinburgh average.  The children are often referred by their teachers and social workers.


My child loves coming to the CHV club. It makes a big difference in her life at the moment so I would just like you to know how very appreciative we are of all the hard work you do with the young people.

Parent of a child who attends CHV

Volunteers really love being part of Children’s Holiday Venture and sometimes stay on as members even after they’ve graduated.  At the 2017 Edinburgh University Students’ Association Activities Awards, CHV volunteers won the Outstanding Contribution Award and the Volunteering Committee Member of the Year for their work with Children’s Holiday Venture.

Find out more

Children’s Holiday Venture is just one of many societies which are part of the Edinburgh University Students’ Association.  Local community groups and charities can post opportunities for student volunteers via a free online service which will try to match them.  Learn more at

Volunteering Service - https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/activities/volunteering/

CHV Website - https://chv.org.uk

Student’s Association Webpage – http://bit.ly/ChildrensHolidayVenture

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/edinburghuniversitychildrensholidayventure/