Free holiday for those who have suffered the most this year


The Matlock-based charity YHA is appealing for donations to help them give more ‘hardship families’ a free holiday in its hostels. Barrie Farnsworth reports.

MATLOCK-BASED charity YHA (England & Wales) was due to celebrate its 90th anniversary this year – but then the pandemic came along, forcing the closure of its 153-strong network of youth hostels for the first time in its history. Many of the hostels were ‘repurposed’ during the Second World War as field hospitals, or to house those made homeless in the Blitz – and the organisation’s hostels have proved invaluable during the current pandemic, with some housing the homeless, others housing key workers or those fleeing from domestic violence during the lockdown. To both mark its landmark anniversary and to help those most affected by the pandemic, YHA launched a Project90 appeal, asking for donations so that it could provide free, much-needed breaks to the families of NHS staff, other frontline workers and to families suffering hardship. By early September, donations from a generous public had enabled YHA to fund around 400 muchneeded family breaks across England and Wales. Now the charity hopes to raise £120,000 more, allowing them to offer about 500 more family breaks in its hostels…