Aldbourne Youth Council (AYC), the award winning charity lead by local children, is celebrating the first anniversary of its holiday letting community business venture.
Hales Cottage, near Marlborough in Wiltshire, is available to holiday let through cottages4you (property reference 28684) and was renovated as part of the pioneering team’s restoration of various buildings in Aldbourne village centre in July 2013.
In its first year, the property has raised more than £6,600 through holiday bookings, which has been reinvested back into their latest project, the Community Junction, and enabled the charity to become a sustainable endeavour for the first time.
Albourne Youth Council is run and managed entirely by children aged 11 years and up with very minimal support by elected adult trustees. It has attracted national acclaim for its inventive approach to engaging young people with local policy and has recently received a Prince of Wales award.
This latest venture into holiday letting has required the young team to take on all responsibilities of running a holiday let, including property renovation and maintenance, gaining valuable business experience and learning new skills in addition to raising funds. Where required, volunteers from within the village have supported their work by providing professional services either discounted or free of charge including an interior designer, painter and decorators, electricians, plumbers and builders.
Chair of Aldbourne Youth Council, 14 year old Amber Phelps, is proud to be part of this enterprising initiative. She said: “The holiday let gives us the opportunity to experience and learn things that aren’t taught in school, as well as develop new skills, such as interior design or how to plan and plant a cottage garden. Our trustees are always there to guide us if our ideas are a bit too unrealistic! None of this would be possible without the amazingly generous support of the Kingham Family Trust, who purchased the building for us in the first place and have supported us through the whole project.”
Lynne Currie, cottages4you regional manager said: “The success of Hales Cottage within its first year as a holiday let is testament to the great work of the Aldbourne Youth Council and is a fantastic example of how a community can pull together to provide a valuable amenity not only for the young people involved but also for residents of the wider village. Our guests love to get involved with the idea behind the project and we look forward to welcoming many more over the years ahead.”