Our purpose and vision

YHA’s purpose is to harness the transformative power of travel, adventure and discovery for young people. We seek to create an environment that ensures those involved have equal opportunities to explore, learn, share and grow.


Our purpose

YHA provides inspiring opportunities for young people with the principal belief that where you go changes who you become. Over 400,000 young people stay with YHA each year. Our charitable objective is: To help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities, particularly by providing youth hostels or other accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, recreation and education. 

With more than 160 locations throughout England and Wales, YHA offers a unique range of affordable and accessible accommodation, including youth hostels, camping and cabins in rural, coastal and city locations, often benefitting from spectacular buildings or scenery.

More than simply a provider of accommodation, YHA encourages people to get involved through staying in one of its locations, on a school trip, a summer camp, work experience, volunteering, donating or taking part in one of YHA’s challenge events like the London Marathon.

YHA has more than 70 Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) accredited sites, more than any other provider. As part of its commitment to quality outdoor education, YHA is championing Learning Away’s #BrilliantResidentials campaign, encouraging more young people to experience residential school trips with an overnight stay. Residential school trips can lead to meaningful, life-enhancing outcomes such as increased resilience, self-confidence, acquisition of new skills, better social relationships and educational achievements.  

To help promote the work YHA does with young people, YHA has appointed a number of inspirational people as ambassadors, including young adventurer Alex Staniforth, British athlete and adventurer Sarah Outen MBE, Britain’s most famous mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington, and the only Briton to have climbed all 14 8,000m peaks, Alan Hinkes OBE.

Physical and mental health and wellbeing and life skills will guide its future work to develop new programmes and partnerships to touch the lives of more young people than ever before.

YHA is here to make travel and adventure available to everyone.

Our vision

To reach out and enhance the lives of all young people, with the goal of reaching more than one million young people every year by 2020.

To achieve our vision, we have developed four strategic themes for 2017-2020:

  • Developing our world class teams
  • Delivering a sustainable network of world class hostels
  • Achieving more reach and impact through funding and partnerships
  • Putting our customers and members at the heart of everything we do
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