Inclusion and Diversity Policy
YHA (England & Wales) is committed to promoting the fair and equal treatment of everyone who benefits from our work. Inclusivity is one of the six values which underpin everything that we do. Our top priority is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our guests, employees and volunteers.
By providing experiences which are accessible, inclusive and free from discrimination, YHA will continue to meet our charitable object to enhance the lives of all, especially young people of limited means.
Although our charitable aim focuses on young people, YHA is open to all. Through our dedication to continuous improvement we have created accommodation and facilities which cater for a variety of types of traveller. We welcome people of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, abilities, genders and beliefs to visit our hostels.
Many young people from low-income families are excluded from important social, educational and developmental opportunities due to cost. YHA is committed to providing funding to enable young people of limited means to attend residential stays with us, allowing them to grow, engage and explore alongside their peers.
Our teams will work hard to allow all those who seek to use any of our services to do so in a safe and dignified manner. YHA will regularly review policies and practices to ensure that they do not discriminate against any particular group. We are also committed to improving physical access across our hostels.
We will strive to meet the conditions of all relevant legislations and, wherever it is reasonable and appropriate to do so, we will aim to meet our customers’ expectations.
In order to help manage inclusion in a consistent way YHA has an Inclusion Policy. This policy identifies specific responsibilities and a code of conduct to be met by all of our staff and volunteers.
We also commit to providing our employees with the training, guidance and support that they need to ensure we are meeting our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and to ensure that we provide an excellent experience for our customers.
Every person involved in the operation of YHA has a duty to our guests, team members, and themselves to ensure that the organisation is totally inclusive. It is important that we respect and support each other at every level and take responsibility for our own actions and behaviour.
We have come a long way, but we are still improving. We are receiving help and guidance from a number of experts but the most important information comes from you!
If you have any enquiries, comments, or just want to get in touch, you can find our contact details here.
2. Transgender guests
We welcome transgender guests to stay with us and we are working hard to improve our services and facilities to make sure that they are inclusive.
We give our staff awareness training to make sure that they can confidently give great customer service to everyone. When we make improvements to our hostels, we consider how we can make them a safe and comfortable environment for a diverse mix of guests.
2.1 Accommodation & facilities
YHA hostels typically offer a mixture of private bedrooms and shared single gender dormitories. Some hostels offer bedrooms with en-suite toilet and shower facilities. Other hostels have shared toilets and showers. Transgender guests are welcome to use the accommodation and facilities which match their gender identity.
More information about our accommodation is available here.
As part of our admissions process, YHA requests that guests bring proof of ID which matches the name and address on the booking.
This is a nationwide policy that we have put in place to help us to create a safe and welcoming environment for all of our guests.
We understand that, depending on their process of transition, a customer may be using a different name to the one on their ID. If your preferred name does not match the name on your ID we invite you to contact the Youth Hostel and discuss this in advance of your stay.
3. Access and disabled guests
At YHA, inclusivity is at the heart of our values and we pride ourselves on being open for all. In this section you can find information on our facilities and services for disabled customers.
3.1 Access statements
We recognise the importance of making sure our guests have enough information about the accessibility of our properties so that they can plan a visit to us and experience all that YHA has to offer.
The majority of our hostels have an access statement; you can find them at the bottom of each hostel page.
The Access Statements are available to download as Adobe PDF files. If you would prefer to receive the access statements in a different format, please contact our customer services team.
We are still in the process of gathering information for some of the hostels which are affiliated with us. If you are interested in a hostel and cannot find the information you need, we are here to help.
3.2 Access at our hostels
We have an incredibly diverse network of hostels, from rural castles and listed buildings to inner city, purpose built hostels.
The variety is part of what makes us stand out from the crowd, but it does give us a challenge in terms of accessibility.
The following hostels have some adaptations which may make them suitable for wheelchair users and people with mobility impairments. For more details on each one please read the access statement. The access statement can be found at the bottom of each hostel information page in the Maps and Directions area.
North West and Lakes
- YHA Berwick
- YHA Blaxhall
- YHA Dalby Forest
- YHA Haworth
- YHA Helmsley
- YHA Malham
- YHA The Sill at Hadrians Wall
- YHA Whitby
- YHA York
East Midlands and Heart of England
- YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
- YHA Edale
- YHA Hartington Hall
- YHA Hathersage
- YHA Ironbridge Coalbrookdale
- YHA Ironbridge Coalport
- YHA Kington
- YHA Leominster
- YHA Ilam Hall
- YHA National Forest
- YHA Sherwood Forest
- YHA Stratford-upon-Avon
East of England
3.3 Free membership for personal assistants* and carers
A brilliant way to save when you stay with us is by purchasing a YHA membership. YHA members receive a discount each time they stay at a hostel and also have access to a whole host of amazing benefits from YHA and our partners.
There are a variety of different types of membership which are available to purchase. To find out more about YHA membership prices and benefits check out our membership page.
We offer free YHA membership to personal assistants and carers. This membership lasts for a year and can be renewed once the year is over. If you travel with a personal assistant or carer and would like to enquire about free membership please contact our customer services team.
*Personal assistant in this case refers to a person employed to support and/or provide care for a person living with a disability or impairment.
3.4 Information in audio format
We are now able to produce information by audio CD, or as an audio file. This service is free of charge, and can be sent out either by post or by email.
If you are interested in this service you can either call our contact centre on +44 (0) 1629 592700, or you can email us at [email protected]. If you choose to email us, please include your full name and address, a telephone number and a description of the information you require.
3.5 Web accessibility
We are working with our frontend developers to make sure that our website meets web accessibility and usability standards.
Have a look at our current web accessibility statement here.
4. Food and dietary requirements
Find out more about how we provide ethically sourced food and endeavor to meet a range of dietary requirements in our Food Policy Statement.