Who is Jenny Lunnon?
Jenny Lunnon is a journalist, freelance travel writer, and campaigner. She has worked and volunteered for organisations promoting human rights and social justice, green issues, fair trade, and responsible tourism. She teaches reading to primary school children and has a large allotment/wildlife garden.
Her first experience of YHA was hostel-to-hostel walking along the Welsh Borders as a Girl Scout in the 1980s. This helped to inspire a love of travel and nature that has since taken her all over the world, including work trips to Spain, Senegal, and South Africa, and a year in the Dominican Republic.
Seeking adventures closer to home, she has recently rediscovered YHA with her partner and young children. Since 2017 they have been exploring the countryside and towns of England and Wales, staying at YHA hostels and sometimes travelling by public transport. For more information, please read 'Hostelling with my Family.'
Jenny's son Alex is on the autism spectrum. He loves youth hostels too, especially if there are some charity shops nearby. Her daughter Isla likes exploring rock pools, collecting sea glass, and pretending to be a tour guide.
Jenny isn't a mountaineer though has made it to the top of Catbells (451m) in the Lake District. She hopes to reach the summit of the Old Man of Coniston (803m) at some point.
"I love the old hostels with the metal sign by the front door that says: "The buildings are diverse in character but they have a common purpose: to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside." And I was moved by the words of former YHA chairman Len Clark, quoted in his obituary in the Guardian on 11 October 2019: 'He described the organisation as a club that sprang “from a love of the countryside, comradeship, tolerance and adventure”.' YHA has celebrated diversity of places, and people, ever since it was set up 90 years ago and I have so appreciated the warm welcome it has extended to me and my family."
What is Jenny and her family up to with YHA?
Talking to other parents and carers at school pick up, Jenny found that many didn't know how family-friendly an organisation YHA is and what great places hostels are for families to stay, especially the ones with outdoor space. Some people were also surprised to discover that YHA is a social enterprise and a charity that helps disadvantaged children and families on low incomes to experience travel and adventure. To help YHA spread the word far beyond her local school gate, she has become their Family Ambassador.
Where can I find more information about Jenny and her family?
Jenny is writing articles and blog entries for LiveMoreYHA. These contain inspiration and practical tips about hostelling with children, including children with special needs and disabilities. They can be found here.