Leading youth charity YHA is offering families in need a free short break thanks to its new Family Breaks initiative.

YHA is offering a free two-night stay and meals in one of its Youth Hostels in England and Wales to families struggling with financial hardship, disability, long-term illness, bereavement, homelessness or other challenging circumstances, to enable them to have some quality family time.

YHA recognises the benefits of time away from the normal home environment in strengthening relationships and believes that family time is the cornerstone of children’s happiness and wellbeing.

The 87-year-old charity has found that families struggling with bereavement, homelessness or long-term disability and illness often struggle with financial hardship that limit their ability to take a break, at a time when they need it most to make happy memories, build bonds, and heal emotional scars.

Up to two adults and their children can apply to YHA’s Family Breaks programme for a short break.

The Family Breaks programme enables more of the UK’s 2.17 million families in the UK who are unable to afford a break at any time of the year, to benefit from much needed time away from normal life and give them the opportunity to leave behind the stresses of everyday life and bond as a family.

All the Youth Hostels available within the programme are located within city, rural and coastal areas that are easily accessible by public transport. Families will be provided with a private room and meals throughout their stay.

YHA’s Family Breaks is part of YHA’s brand new Breaks Programmes which aim to reach young people and families with the most challenging lives and provide them with life changing experiences. YHA’s Breaks programmes also provide support to young people from low-income households participating in educational trips through school or youth groups.

The programme has been running for more than 20 years, however has recently undergone a full review to ensure that it is benefitting the young people who need it most.

James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA said: “As a charity that has worked with young people in the outdoors for more than 80 years, we understand first-hand the benefits a short break can bring to lives, particularly for those children who have challenging lives.

“We discovered that a short break was beyond the reach of the UK’s most disadvantaged families, meaning the young people most in need of support are missing out on valuable bonding time with their family and the opportunity to improve their health and education.

“Following the review of our Breaks Programme, we can now reach even more children than ever, giving them the opportunity to explore with their families so they can enjoy an enriching and much needed get away.”

Applying for a YHA Breaks family holiday is simple and straightforward. Simply fill out an application form here. Or, get in touch with the YHA Breaks team by emailing [email protected] or calling freephone 0800 0191 700.

YHA Breaks is supported entirely through donations from members of the public. When you choose YHA, you’re helping us change young lives for the better, forever. Every penny we make is used to improve access to travel and real adventure for all young people. So when you stay with us, you’re contributing to opening up a world of possibilities to young people, many of whom just wouldn’t be able to take a break without us. Donate to YHA’s Breaks Programmes here.

Written by Ruby Higton

Here is Ruby and she is a digital marketer at YHA. She looks after all things social media, as well as content writing for livemore.yha.org.uk and SEO. Her favourite YHA is YHA Perranporth.

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