A youth charity is urging disadvantaged groups of young people who live in Crawley to take up the offer of a free holiday.
Applications for YHA’s Challenging Lives and Challenging Places Breaks Programmes must be made by November 1.
Young people, aged 8 to 18, who live in areas of deprivation or are living with a disability, medical or mental health condition, or those who are recently bereaved, homeless or are a young carer, are eligible to apply for a two-night stay at a youth hostel.
A YHA spokesman said: “Underpinned by YHA’s ethos that ‘where you go changes who you become’, YHA’s Breaks Programmes are an opportunity for young people to have some quality time away from difficult circumstances and, instead, focus on improving their own physical and mental health and wellbeing.”
It was launched last year after it was revealed that more than two million children miss out on a break from their difficult lives because the challenges of daily life are too great.
Research has shown that a break away can improve health and wellbeing, increase resilience, improve behaviour and school attendance, build life skills and improve future prospects.
Groups of young people can choose to stay in youth hostels located within city, rural and coastal areas that are easily accessible by public transport. They will be provided with meals throughout their stay.
James Blake, chief executive of YHA (England and Wales) said: “YHA has been supporting young people for more than 85 years so we understand first-hand the benefits a short break can bring to their lives, particularly those living in difficult circumstances.
“Our Breaks Programmes are designed to give these young people an enriching and much needed get away.”
Applications to YHA’s Challenging Lives and Challenging Places programmes are welcomed from social workers, schools and youth support workers. Support is available for groups of up to 12 young people.