RORY STEWART MP BACKS ‘BREAKS FOR KIDS’ CAMPAIGN

(left to right: centre manager Ellie Parkinson, YHA Chief Executive Caroline White, YHA Chairman Peter Gains and Rory Stewart MP)

(left to right: centre manager Ellie Parkinson, YHA Chief Executive Caroline White, YHA Chairman Peter Gains and Rory Stewart MP)

Penrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart visited YHA Patterdale last week to find out how YHA is working to improve the lives of school children across the country. During his visit Rory met with YHA staff and was given a tour of the hostel which was being redecorated ahead of the next busy summer season.

YHA Patterdale is one of 22 Youth Hostels operated by YHA (England and Wales) in Cumbria and one of around 160 properties nationally. It is one of four YHA properties in Rory’s constituency of Penrith and The Border, alongside the Helvellyn, Dufton and Alston Youth Hostels which, combined, accommodatedaround 22,500 overnight stays last year.

Caroline White, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) said: “It was a very positive meeting. Through Rory’s prominence locally and in his capacity as the Minister of State at the Department for International Development, we hope to raise further awareness of YHA and the opportunities we are able to offer young people to start their adventures in travel – domestically and internationally. YHA plays a vital and vibrant role in rural communities like Patterdale where we have Youth Hostels, and why we are committed to continued investment and encouraging more people to stay with us.”

During his visit to YHA Patterdale Rory also found out about YHA’s ‘Breaks for Kids’ fund. Breaks for Kids is a bursary fund that YHA operates to help children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds when they want to take part in a school or community group break away. It offers the chance for children to enjoy some time away, make friends, grow in confidence, increase self- awareness and feel engaged and involved, and teachers and group leaders can apply for up to 50% support for each eligible individual.

Following the visit Rory Stewart said: “YHA Patterdale is an impressive facility in an incredibly beautiful setting and I am very pleased that our constituency has such a wonderful amenity. The investment of YHA is key to engaging with young people, particularly those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to explore the area, and ‘Breaks for Kids’ means that no child should ever have to miss out on a school trip for affordability reasons. I would encourage all schools to take advantage of this fundand the Youth Hostels on our doorstep, as well as those up and down the country.”

For more information on the ‘Breaks for Kids’ fund, or to make an application visit http://www.yha.org.uk/school-trips/breaks-for-kids

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