Challenging Lives Support Programme

We transform young lives forever through travel and real adventure.

We believe every child should have the same chance to discover, explore and grow. We create unique opportunities for people from all backgrounds to experience amazing places, share extraordinary journeys and take a different path through life.

Our challenging lives programme aims to reach those children and young people who are or have recently experienced life threatening medical or mental health conditions, bereavement or homelessness. We also offer support to those living with a disability or life threatening medical conditions or who take on a caring role.

If your group works with young people facing these challenges we can offer groups a 2 night break package at one of our iconic destinations.

Because YHA relies on the generosity of its donors and supporters to deliver our life changing work our programmes are discretionary and subject to eligibility criteria.

Our guidance notes can support you to complete the application. If you need support to complete the application or you have any questions please contact our breaks team on 01629 592 723 or by an email at [email protected]

The break you are applying for must make a significant difference to the group of children/ young people, so please tell us as much as you can about why this will make a real difference. To be eligible the child or young person must be between the ages of 8 and 18 and meet the following criteria. The children/young people who you are applying for must:

  • Have a disability or life limiting or threatening condition (please refer to our disability guidance)

  • Have experienced homelessness or are living in temporary accommodation

  • Have witnessed or experienced domestic violence

  • Have witnessed or experienced drug and alcohol abuse

  • Have experienced bereavement (either the loss of a parent or sibling)

  • Be young carers

  • Have a sibling who is a disabled child or a child who has a life limiting or threatening condition

  • Live in an area of deprivation (please refer to our guidance map)

  • Download our Guidance notes

Thank you for your interest in the Challenging Lives Programme. Applications for support will open in March 2018. Should you require any further information please email [email protected] and a member of the team will get back to you.

  • YHA London Lee Valley

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA London Thameside

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Grinton Lodge

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Haworth

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA York

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Whitby

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Boggle Hole

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Hawkshead

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Windermere

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Wilderhope Manor

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Edale

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Stratford-upon-Avon

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Sheringham

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Holmmbury St Mary

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Eden Project

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Treyarnon Bay

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Cardiff Central

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Wye Valley

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Conwy

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • YHA Okehampton

    September – March (excluding October half term)

  • This is a list of focus hostels for our fund and not a definitive list of where breaks may be available

Our programmes information

Our resources are limited. We don’t receive any government funding; we are reliant on our donors and supporters. We regret we cannot assist every applicant and aim to reach those in greatest need. We can only provide groups with one break per year. All requests for assistance must be made by completing an application form to apply for an advertised educational break. All applications should be made by a senior member of the organisation on behalf of a specific group of young people. Members of the group must have permanent legal residency in the UK and have lived in the UK for the last 12 months. The child or young people must be aged 8 - 18 years old at the time of application. YHA can only consider applications made during an advertised application period. If you are requesting a break for children with a life limiting condition please make us aware of this on the application form. We can provide accommodation for a maximum of 2 nights and a food package. Accommodation will be for a maximum of 2 adults and a group of 12 children/young people under aged 8 – 18 (up to 19th birthday). If anyone in the group has additional caring needs, please contact us to discuss this in more detail. The locations, times and dates of breaks may on occasion be subject to change at the discretion or YHA for operational reasons. Whilst we will try to allocate accommodation on the preferences selected we are unable to guarantee these choices. The group of children/ young people must meet the qualifying criteria. YHA will not provide care or childcare for the duration of your break. Groups will be responsible for the welfare of children/young people in their care for the duration of the break. YHA is unable to provide transport. You will be required to make your own travel arrangements to and from the hostel or camp. Breaks can only take place at a YHA hostel. Breaks, locations and dates are subject to availability. YHA cannot reimburse groups, families or individuals for money that has already been spent or for breaks that have already taken place. We are not able to help children/young people in local authority care, including those living with foster carers. All successful applications will be required to complete an experience monitoring form which will help us understand the difference the break made to your group, the lives of young people and how we can continually improve our support to other young people.