Are you involved in with young people through teaching, youth or social work? Do you organise or have thought obout organising YHA residentials for educational and/or recreational purposes?
The Postellers YHA Group, set up in 1968 ran Youth Hostelling trips for young people aged 10 to 17 on a regular basis until 2016, staying at many youth hostels within the UK. Both weekend and longer trips took place throughout the year led by volunteer leaders, many of them ex-group members. The young people came from London and surrounding areas and were from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities including ethnic minorities and those with special needs. On neutral territory, background usually ceases to be an issue.
Over the 48+ years of running these hostelling ventures, the group built up an amazing amount of experience of introducing young people to both urban and rural environments. For many, the experiences were life-changing. Probably all have memories of their times away – how wet it was, how hard it was climbing a steep hill, what fun it was rolling down one, the wonderful view from the top, how great it was talking about it afterwards! One key element needs to be FUN!
Since the group ceased offering trips away, it has produced a legacy as a record and to give guidance as an encouragement to others to organise trips away for which youth hostels are the ideal places to stay.
The Postellers have a created a short film and oral history which includes comments from both ex-Postellers and leaders. They also have a website (www.postellers.org.uk, a section of which offers guidance and encouragement for would-be leaders to run their own hostelling trips. They are available to answer any queries or concerns people may have. Let them know if you are planning to take young people away to new places where they can explore, learn and have fun or if you already do so – they’d love to hear about it and answer any questions you may have.