We are pleased to announce that the new Hostelling Scotland Explorer Fund has been a success and we have funded 11 youth and school groups in the first round of funding . The fund is supported by Hostelling Scotland members, whose membership contributions enable us to give back to young people through this fund. The fund enables disadvantaged young people to explore and experience Scotland and experience the benefits of a residential trip, by offering youth and groups working with young people aged 8 to 25 the opportunity to apply for a funded trip to a Youth Hostel of their choice including all accommodation and catering costs.

The fund supports the aims of the Year of Young People 2018. It aims to ensure young people have more opportunities to take part in positive activities and experiences in 2018, and make 2018 a memorable year for young people. The Explorer Fund also requires that young people are treated as integral partners when groups are planning and delivering trips supported by the Fund, with co-design key criteria for the fund.  In addition to this young people were partners in allocating the funding.  3 young people from Royston Youth Action who had previously taken part in Youth Hostel residential experiences sat on the Explorer Fund panel to assess the funding applications received.

The Hostelling Scotland Explorer Fund links in with the Health and Wellbeing theme of the Year of Young People 2018, supporting young people to lead healthier lives. Young people supported by the Fund are able to have a valuable break away from home while exploring a new part of Scotland.

The Explorer fund also supports the ‘Brilliant Residentials’ campaign run by Learning Away to enable children and young people to enjoy ‘Brilliant Residentials’ and the life changing experiences they offer and ensure high quality residentials for all young people.   

The groups funded include Angus Adoption and Fostering, Edinburgh College, Choices School Group, Kingussie High School and PEEK. The target groups of young people include young people with disabilities, care experienced young people, young carers, and young people living in areas of deprivation.

The majority of the groups highlighted in their applications that they were fundraising to cover travel and additional costs which were still barriers to undertaking the trips.  In order to support groups to undertake their trips,  rather than requiring a contribution of £15 per person per night Hostelling Scotland has asked each of the groups only to provide only a small £100 contribution for this year of the Explorer Fund.

The 11 funded groups have chosen to take trips to a range of Youth Hostels across Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Pitlochry, Cairngorm Lodge and Stirling, with trips booked to take place between April and November. In total approximately 200 participants will be supported to take part in these trips.  The trips have a total value of £28,000 with Hostelling Scotland. The trips included accommodation and full catering for each group.

The next round of the Hostelling Scotland Explorer fund will be launched on the 1st of May with a deadline of Monday 2nd of July.