Director of External Affairs

Home based, but with the ability to travel regularly
£82,000 per annum and includes a car allowance of £5,400.

YHA is a charity and social enterprise that transforms lives forever through travel and real adventure. We want more people – especially young people facing adversity – to benefit from connecting to nature, the outdoors, heritage and each other while staying in our c140 amazing hostels across England and Wales.


In 2023 we set out our three-year plan to take the steps necessary to secure YHA’s long term prosperity. We need a strong base across various media, partners, and funders that we can call upon quickly to make sure YHA has the strong voice it deserves. We need to be better recognised as a go to charity in societal debates about young people, access to nature and the multiple benefits of a thriving youth hostel network. We need to re-energise our story – engaging and involving the next generations of young people to see YHA as a place and resource for them.

As part of this, we are reshaping our senior leadership team to ensure we are fit for the future. As our new Director of External Affairs, you will get to lead and create a world class external-facing corporate communications and public affairs strategy, building influential and impactful relationships with government, funding agencies and other charity and media partners.

 You will also lead the development, delivery and communication of priority national level strategic partnerships, alliances and campaigns such as Access Unlimited (responsible for Generation Green) and Hostelling Together (bringing together the not for profit and independent hostelling sector across the UK).

Naturally collaborative, and comfortable across all communication channels, you will lead a small external relations team that punches above its weight, with a brief to strengthen key areas to help us raise our brand, profile and influence further. You will combine strong policy, communications and public affairs experience with demonstrable success at influencing at the highest levels across a broad stakeholder map, and with experience to ensure our profile is hitting key audiences. 

This is a key role on our Senior Leadership Team in which you will report directly to me and attend the Executive team. Whether you’re already operating in a similar role or looking for the first Director opportunity, key is that you have the skills, experience, desire and passion to contribute to YHA’s ongoing success, fostering diversity and inclusivity into the future.


Download the candidate brief to find out about the role.