YHA (England and Wales) has announced that its Chief Executive, Caroline White, will be stepping down from the charity in June 2017.
White was appointed CEO in 2008 with the specific aim of modernising and transforming YHA into a world class organisation.
She said: “I have absolutely loved the last nine years at YHA but the time is now right for me personally to pass the baton on to my successor to deliver our new flagship sites; The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland and YHA London Stratford, and to further realise the potential in YHA.”
White has led YHA through a period of transformational change and modernisation; with a refocus on young people and the huge opportunities and impact a stay at a Youth Hostel can have.
Nearly half a million young people stayed with YHA last year on educational trips, summer camps, with their families or as independent travellers.
More than £56m has been invested in the YHA network during her tenure and seven new hostels have been opened.
During her time as CEO, YHA’s bed occupancy levels have increased from 48% to 60% and there has been a significant rise in guest satisfaction scores from an average of 82% to 91% throughout the network.
Operational changes throughout England and Wales have ensured financial sustainability for the charity. YHA is now in a strong financial and sustainable position for the future.
Peter Gaines, YHA Chairman of the Board of Trustees said: “As Chief Executive, Caroline has transformed YHA from an outdated, loss making organisation into a vibrant and forward looking charity with a clear direction and renewed focus on young people. She leaves a highly motivated group of staff and volunteers driven by a united ambition to unlock the full potential of YHA for future generations. We owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.”
Praising YHA staff and volunteers, White added: “I am immensely proud of the passion and commitment of all our people and all they do to create opportunities for so many young people. YHA has a very bright future and I look forward to seeing its continuing success.”