The Venture, a children's integration centre based in Caia Park Wrexham, received a visit from Jeremy Miles. 

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Mr Miles MS, visited the centre to discuss the educational aspects of The Venture’s work, many of which are funded directly or indirectly by Welsh Government.

From the age of 2, children can begin their journey at The Venture through its Early Years Centre, part of the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme.

Then, from 5, children can attend its award-winning adventure playground and, in their teenage years, young people can attend The Venture’s independent youth club.

The Minister was particularly interested in The Venture’s long-standing Holiday Hunger Project, started in 2015 by St Mark’s Church, which has produced around 8,000 meals over the past two years for children and young people who attend The Venture and Gwenfro Valley adventure playgrounds. 

READ MORE: Wrexham community organisation benefits from business donation

The scheme is valued by parents and carers, particularly because it is distributed to everyone, removing the potential stigma attached, and every child benefits from the socialisation process of eating and playing together.

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles was similarly impressed, he said: “It was brilliant to visit The Venture and see the fantastic work they’re doing to support children and young people. I was pleased to hear about The Venture’s Holiday Hunger Project, which plays a vital role in ensuring children don’t go without food”.

Suzanne Nantcurvis, Holiday Hunger Coordinator, stressed to the Minister the intrinsic links between hunger, general wellbeing, school attainment and the aspirations of children and young people. 

She urged the Minister to review the issue of eligibility for free school meals and to look creatively at ways to mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the life chances of children in Wales.

READ MORE: Wrexham primary school visited by Education and Welsh Language Minister

The Venture is also keen to ensure that no one is left behind – their Inclusion Project has complementary playwork and youth provision for children and young people with neurodevelopmental conditions and dedicated provision for families who opt to home educate.

The Venture Alternative Learning (VAL) Project, too, supports local high schools to ensure young people continue to have a positive relationship with their education through activities such as art and craft, construction and The Prince’s Trust.

Malcolm King OBE, The Venture’s Chief Officer said “It was great to be able to show the Minister first-hand the wide range of our work and the fantastic progress that so many children and young people are making, that almost certainly wouldn’t be happening without the support that the Welsh Government have consistently shown over the last 20 years”.