On 15 September YHA (England and Wales) is holding its first ever 'YHA Day' to help raise public awareness of the national Youth Hostelling charity.
The 82-year-old organisation will open the doors of its youth hostel network to their local communities, to show off their amenities and publicise the charity's changing face.
Youth Hostels throughout England and Wales are taking part, offering family-friendly activities from guided tours to live music.
Traditionalist fans of the old-style ultra-basic budget hostel might not approve, but over the past five years YHA has invested £19.5 million in modernising its network of Youth Hostels in England and Wales. Many now boast private en-suite rooms, camping facilities, restaurants and even honeymoon suites. Some hostels are now more like hotels; and you don't even have to be a member to stay. In a sign of our times, the investments have in part been funded by selling off several hostels that might have cost too much to upgrade.
Today Youth Hostels play a big role in many of the communities in which they are based, say the YHA, providing local groups such as toddlers and Scouts with premises for their weekly meetings and onsite activities for children during term time and school holidays.
YHA (England & Wales) Chief Executive Caroline White explained:
'We want to double the number of young people who experience YHA, its sense of sociability and community, and all that it can offer them and their families. Where better to start than in the local community and with our first ever YHA Day?'
'Youth Hostels are increasingly popular with young families, with outdoor groups and school groups. We play a special part in many communities and in the lives of young people and we're really proud of the work we do with volunteers and with partners, including the National Citizen Service.'