Leading youth charity YHA has launched brand new educational breaks programme to enable more young people with challenging lives to benefit from a potentially life changing educational break.
Applications open on 15th January 2018 for YHA’s Educational Support Programme, which will cover half the cost of accommodation and food for 8 – 18 year olds staying at a Youth Hostel as part of an educational or recognised youth group.
The launch of YHA’s Educational Support Programme follows research in 2017 by the Learning Away Consortium as part of its Brilliant Residentials campaign. The research revealed that youngsters in areas of deprivation have the fewest opportunities to take part in residential school trips. This is partly due to the inability of families to finance the remaining cost and partly due to the fact that they are more likely to live in areas where fewer residential trips are available.
Young people aged between 8 and 18 who live in severe poverty, have additional challenges, or are eligible for pupil premium, can all take advantage of YHA’s support programme for groups. Up to 10 young people in a group staying for a maximum of two nights can apply for support.
Groups can choose to stay at Youth Hostels in a wide range of city, coastal and rural locations in England and Wales.
The Educational Support Programme is part of YHA’s Breaks programme which also includes the new Family Breaks programme, launched by YHA last year. Families struggling with financial hardship, disability, long-term illness, bereavement, homelessness or other challenging circumstances can apply to YHA for a free two-night stay and meals at a Youth Hostel to enable them to have some quality family time.
James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA commented: “We are determined to help change the lives of young people who need and will benefit from our support the most. The Educational Support Programme ensures that young people who have challenging lives are the very ones that will have the opportunity to access a life enhancing stay with us, benefitting their health and wellbeing. I would encourage every school or youth group to apply.
“As a youth charity with more than 87 years’ experience of working with young people, we know that the experiences they have through travel can have a directly positive effect on their future; and independent research supports this. We know, for instance, that residential school trips help young people achieve more academically at school, increases their attendance record and enhances their relationship with their peers.”
Groups and schools can apply for YHA’s Educational Support funding until 31 January 2018. Applications can be made online here.