Transforming young lives through travel and real adventure

YHA exists for the benefit of everybody. Our unique network of 150 hostels offers doorstep access to England and Wales’ iconic rural landscapes, dramatic coastlines and the culture of towns and cities.

As a charity, our focus is on improving physical and mental health, wellbeing and life skills through travel and real adventure. We’re here to enrich the lives of all our guests yet we know we make the greatest difference to young people – and especially those coping with challenges that mean they otherwise miss out.

Since March 2018*

We've welcomed 389,536 guests under 26 years of age

We've supported 5,314 people with challenging lives

1,322 young people have spent time working, volunteering or training with YHA

*Figures recorded up to January 2019

Here’s a selection of case studies demonstrating the difference we make as a charity for young people.


He may be just 15, but Lewis has already faced more challenges than many twice his age. Since the age of five, Lewis has been a young carer – supporting his mother who has mental health problems. Watch the story of his break to Cornwall with a group of young people who know exactly what he’s going through.


At six weeks old Fred was diagnosed with a progressive eye condition that may eventually cost him his sight. Now eight, Fred’s on a mission to see as much as possible while he can. Thanks to our supporters, Fred’s family made precious memories on a much-needed break to YHA Boggle Hole.

Saif and Atheer

Saif and his father fled to the UK from Syria, clinging to the underside of a lorry. They were granted asylum three years ago yet only reunited with the rest of their family last summer. Look at what happened when the family joined other families facing hardship, on a free activity weekend.

Pitcheroak Sixth Form

Staying away from home for the first time is a big deal, especially for those with additional learning needs. For students at Pitcheroak Sixth Form, that milestone moment came when they went on a break to YHA Cheddar. Here’s what it meant to them.


2.17 million children in the UK miss out on a break due to their difficult lives

There are 700,000 young carers across the UK

1.1 million young people in school receive additional funding (pupil premium), to help narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and those from more affluent backgrounds

800,000 children are living with a disability

850,000 young people aged 16-24 years are not in education, employment or training (NEET)

1.46 million families struggle to fund a day out together

1 in 5 children leaving primary school are obese

Every day

Every day we see the benefits of YHA's programmes and activities on physical and mental health. And we see first-hand the impact of residential breaks on young people’s abilities to develop and enhance their social skills, self-confidence, resilience and relationships.

Thank you for helping us make a difference to so many. Can you help us do more?

Support YHA