YHA News

Grant funding enables YHA to offer free accommodation to NHS and frontline workers in central London

YHA London Central entrance

London’s NHS and frontline workers are being offered free overnight accommodation by YHA (England & Wales).

We have been awarded £45,000 of funding from London Community Response.

The grant has enabled us to provide free accommodation at YHA London Central on Bolsover Street (W1) for NHS and frontline workers who, for a variety of reasons, wish to avoid travelling or returning home during the pandemic.

One of the first to benefit from the grant funding is Zoe Glossop, a scientist specialising in radioactive substances who is based at Guy and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She lives in Manchester and is facing increased rail travel and food costs because of the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic she used low-cost, off-peak rail travel to commute to the capital on Monday and stayed at one of our London youth hostels before returning home on Thursday evening.

As a result of social distancing measures the cost of rail travel has increased significantly. Additionally, Zoe is now forced to rely on takeaway food when at work because staff kitchens are closed. Thanks to the grant, however, we are able to provide Zoe with free accommodation which is helping balance out the increased costs making her stay in the capital affordable.

“I am so very grateful for the free accommodation in central London right now. In the current economic conditions, it has made it affordable for me to continue to come from Manchester to work at Guy and St Thomas’. It makes a massive difference and is a real help,” said Zoe.

She added: “Youth hostels are great. They are comfy, clean and have good security which is especially important for me both as a single female traveller and also needing somewhere to store my belongings while at work.”

We want to hear from any other NHS and frontline workers who would benefit from free accommodation close to their work in central London. Stays are available to people working long shifts, those facing increasing travel costs for long distance travel or even workers who wish to continue to distance themselves from vulnerable family members at home.

A maximum stay of 14 nights is available at YHA London Central based on Bolsover Street. All accommodation is in private rooms with dedicated toilet and shower facilities.

James Blake, YHA’s Chief Executive, said: “We are very grateful for this funding from London Community Response. It is enabling us to provide much-needed support to NHS and frontline workers during this challenging time.”

As part of our 90th anniversary, we have also pledged stays for 900 NHS and key workers and their families following the lifting of social distancing restrictions. YHA’s Project90 Appeal aims to raise £500,000 to fund crucial breaks for NHS and frontline workers and their families in England and Wales.

For more information and to apply for the free accommodation, funded by London Community Response, please contact [email protected]

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