YHA vice-chair Margaret Hart

YHA vice-chair Margaret Hart

A keen hillwalker and former educationalist has been appointed vice-chair of the board of the charity that runs England and Wales’s youth hostels.

Margaret Hart will work with YHA (England and Wales) chair Peter Gaines in her new post.

She will help him and 12-strong board of trustees in providing guidance and leadership to the chief executive, executive team and employees of the 87-year-old charity.

Ms Hart was formerly the director of lifelong learning at Sheffield University and before that head of wider participation for the Open University. She was appointed to the YHA board of trustees in 2016 following her retirement from education.

Within education, she worked with children and young people creating opportunities in the voluntary sector and higher education.

Ms Hart has been involved with YHA since her teens, through the Girl Guides and then later with her husband and three children for regular family holidays. She is a keen fellwalker and, although her children have grown up, she continues to stay in youth hostels with her husband.

She said: “I have very fond memories of staying at YHA Buttermere. It is in a wonderful location and I stayed there with my children in the family annex when they were very small.

“My husband and I returned recently and I was delighted to see that it has had extensive investment and is more popular than ever with families.

In her first official role as vice-chair of YHA (England and Wales), Ms Hart attended the opening of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre and 86-bed youth hostel on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.

The development £14.8m visitor centre and youth hostel was led by Northumberland National Park Authority with support from partners and funders including YHA (England & Wales), and with money raised by National Lottery players through a £7.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Ms Hart added: “My professional background is very different to Peter’s; his being commercial and mine being in the education sector.

“In that respect, we bring different areas of expertise to our roles and complement each other, We are both committed, however, to increasing young people’s participation with YHA and the opportunities the charity provides as well as further enhancing the fantastic impact work that has already been done.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Youth hostels boss Caroline White announces she will step down
  2. YHA’s iPhone app allows mobile online hostel booking
  3. Cyclists will benefit from new hostel facilities in £¼m YHA project