YHA (England & Wales) has been named as the Best Residential Experience provider for school trips.
The leading youth charity scooped the accolade at the annual School Travel Awards 2018/19, the UK’s biggest event for school travel and learning outside the classroom.
Chosen by readers of School Travel Organiser magazine, the annual awards recognise the best venues, attractions and companies for educational visits.
Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of Strategy and Engagement at YHA (England & Wales) said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to receive the award as it recognises the commitment and dedication of all YHA staff – both in hostel and behind the scenes, to delivering the very best experience for schools who choose to stay with us.”
Last year almost 100,000 primary and secondary school children stayed on school trips with YHA (England & Wales). The charity operates more than 150 youth hostels through England and Wales in cities, towns, coastal and National Park locations, with more than 80 of them Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) accredited; the most of any UK provider.
Research has shown that children from lower socio-economic groups, and those with special educational needs and disabilities are less likely to visit the countryside or undertake rural leisure pursuits.
To enable schools to provide the opportunity for outdoor travel and adventure to all their students, YHA’s Educational Breaks support programme supports young people aged between 8 and 18 who are eligible for Pupil Premium and have additional social challenges. Up to 10 young people in a group can apply for a two-night supported break at a Youth Hostel. The current round of applications to YHA’s Educational Breaks programme is open until 31st January 2019.
Anita added: “Giving young people the opportunity to learn and develop through travel and adventure is our passion and one of the main reasons that YHA exists. We know that travel and adventure are transformative for young people; benefitting their emotional, social and academic development. We hope that our Educational Breaks programme will enable more schools to give the very children who need to most, the opportunity to benefit from a residential experience.”
Highlighting the importance of young people having the opportunity to access travel and adventure in the outdoors, YHA recently launched The Adventure Effect campaign. At the heart of the campaign is a film which features a social experiment highlighting the impact of young people not having the opportunity to access travel and the outdoors. Watch the powerful film at www.groups.yha.org.uk/adventure-effect
To book your next residential school trip with YHA or apply for Educational Breaks support, visit https://groups.yha.org.uk/