Challenging places support programme

We transform young lives forever through travel and real adventure.

Because 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 Places Programme aims to reach those children and young people who live in areas recognised as being amongst the most deprived.

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’s life, 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 must:

Live in an area of deprivation (qualifying areas: Middlesbrough, Knowsley, Kingston upon Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham (particularly the areas of Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton), Blackpool, Nottingham, Burnley, Hartlepool, Bradford, Blackburn with Darwen, Hastings, Stoke on Trent, North East Lincolnshire, Salford, Rochdale, Pendle, Halton, Great Yarmouth, London Boroughs (Tower Hamlets, Islington, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Newham), Norwich, Leicester, South Tyneside (including South Shields, Jarrow, Gateshead, Wallsend, and Sunderland), Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport, Denbighshire, Neath, Port Talbot, Swansea, Caerphilly, Bridgend

Download our Guidance notes

SJA believes that every single child should be able to participate and gain the benefits from an educational school trip and, as a registered charity, we can provide financial assistance to children from disadvantaged families. This is why we are proud partners of the Challenging Places programme. With over 100 years of experience, SJA has earned a brilliant reputation as a specialist school travel company providing outstanding, well-organised school group travel plus activity packages, within the UK and across Europe. Find out more.

Available Breaks

Applications are now closed

Our programme 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. All applications should be made by a senior member of the organisation on behalf of a specific group of children or 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. 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 aged 8 to 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 below. 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.

Talk to us about our support programmes

Our dedicated team is here to help you along the way

Challenging places support programme