About Horton WHC

…. STOP PRESS …. We are recruiting for a new worker … See our “Jobs” page for details … deadline for applications is 5pm Monday 22nd June …

PLUS … ever fancied a chance to have a go with some power tools in a supervised environment? We’re having a mini work week from Sat 27th – Tues 30th June. Depending on how many volunteers come to help, we’re going to build some new storage space for the gardening tools etc and start to prepare the coach house for refurbishment. This will eventually enable both workers to have private rooms in there, plus a workers bathroom, kitchinette, office and guest bedroom. Reasonable travel expenses plus the cost of your stay will be covered in exchange for at least 5hrs work per day – come for one day or all four. Just phone the house to book in. If anyone fancies coming to cook for us all that would be a great contribution too! If there’s time, you might also get to learn tiling :)

THE HORTON 35th ANNIVERSARY TOOK PLACE LAST SATURDAY! The house was fully booked, plus camping, and the bunk barn in the village. We wanted to celebrate the wonderfulness that is the women’s holiday centre and to show our appreciation to all workers, old and new, volunteers and guests. A great time was had by all! 

Our email problems have hopefully now all been sorted, but apologies if you sent an email between 24th May and 15th June, as we’ve only just received these.

… We also currently have volunteering opportunities available, so please let us know if you’re interested in helping Horton. Please get in touch if you would like to facilitate a workshop, particularly if the activity will promote well-being, self-esteem and empowerment. If you commit to running a workshop we can reimburse your travel expenses and pay for your stay. We look forward to hearing from you! 

IMPORTANT DATES TO PUT IN YOUR DIARY: 

September 4th-6th: House Sitter Training. House sitters are invaluable to Horton as they allow the workers to catch up with important work, take days off and use their annual leave. As a house sitter you will meet a host of amazing women and gain fantastic experience. If you do book in please arrive on the 4th to settle in and get to know the other house sitters; training will commence the following morning and you can leave that evening or the next day. Again, we can reimburse your travel expenses and cover your stay.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Front of the house in the sunshine

The Women’s Holiday Centre is based in the quaint Yorkshire village Horton-in-Ribblesdale, and is the only collective, not for profit, co-operatively ran holiday centre for women and children in the UK.

The holiday centre was set up in 1980 as a charitable co-operative, by women involved in feminism and the women’s liberation movement. Since then, this volunteer-run women’s co-op has been making a difference to the lives of thousands of women and children from all over the country, by providing affordable holidays with a sliding scale for payments according to income.

We aim to keep the lowest charge for one night, including food, at the daily rate of benefit entitlement. Other low-cost holiday options, such as renting a caravan or camping, can leave a woman feeling more isolated and vulnerable than she does at home, as there are many practical tasks to manage in a smaller space. In contrast, the Women’s Holiday Centre provides a uniquely supportive and laid-back environment, where women staying often socialise, cook and share meals together.

Sharing the cooking and the eating!

Sharing the cooking and the eating!

The Women’s Holiday Centre is for all women, with or without children, on their own, or with friends. Women from all walks of life are welcome and visit regularly. The house offers a safe and friendly environment, where women and children can feel at home and get to know each other. Items such as towels, toiletries, and both adult and children’s spare coats/hats/gloves/wellies etc. are kept at the house so that those using public transport have less to carry.

The part B&B, part hostel style accommodation consists of a mix of private and shared bedrooms, plus two sitting rooms, a large playroom, large kitchen and garden. There is a very relaxed and informal self-catering arrangement, with vegetarian and vegan food provided. During mid-week term-times, the house can offer a quiet place that can be ideal for women recovering from various illnesses or stresses.

Disabled access is very basic at the moment, and we are currently working to raise funds for substantial alterations to improve this. Please contact us to discuss any particular requirements.

The house has gone ECO friendly!

Our new and amazing Biomass Carbon-neutral boiler!

Our new and amazing Biomass Carbon-neutral boiler!

The WHC is now being heated by a carbon-neutral expensive, biomass boiler, but it will be well worth it in the long-run! Like all good Horton stories, a bit of a crisis was uprooted when our beautiful Aga died. For years she served the house faithfully, never taking a day off sick and always trying to meet the warm expectations of the guests.  Although women volunteered their time and love to fix her, in March 2013 she came to an abrupt halt. This time, no amount of love or TLC could bring her back to life. Thanks to a lot of help from women, the co-operative and management commitment, we managed to get ourselves back to being nice and toasty with a beautiful, carbon-neutral boiler, properly heating the entire house.

We considered all forms of heating. There’s no gas to the property, so that was near impossible. The people in the village who use oil are currently trying to change as it’s so expensive. Other options would have involved putting a more substantial power supply to the house, for example solar panels, etc. However, nothing seemed as perfect as a Biomass boiler, and we needed to get something quick, before the winter months approached and the cold seeped into the house!  We eventually decided that in the long run this boiler would be most efficient and long-lasting, supplying us with enough heat. It is now installed and in use, we have warm, nay – hot – radiators and hot water heated by this wonderful machine. The house is now toasty, but we need your help! We still need to buy the boiler within the next 3 years; please donate what you can afford to help keep Horton warm! Thank you. 

 Horton mugs still available! 

Mugs

Mugs are again on sale for a suggested donation of £8! Please email us to place your order. These beautiful mugs make fabulous gifts and will be a lovely reminder of Horton when you leave. We can post the mug(s) to you if you are unable to visit the house, so do get in touch.

Can you promote this amazing unique space?

We have had two wonderful volunteers from Bradford and Brighouse who have helped to publicise the centre around Bradford and the district by sending out and hand delivering leaflets, visiting women’s groups in the local area and visiting community centres, schools and daycare centres. If you know of anywhere in your local area who would benefit from staying at the women’s holiday centre, please contact us for leaflets, our YouTube promotional video and our power point presentation so you can pass on this information either via post or in person. If you have to travel to get to a particular group, we can reimburse your travel expenses.

I really hope some of you take up this amazing opportunity! I often come here for a lovely stay in exchange for some work, as it helps the centre tremendously. Please pass this information on to anyone who might be interested. Thank you!

Poster

Is there somewhere you could put up a poster or some leaflets for Horton?

For leaflets please send a stamped, addressed envelope to the centre, or email us if you are unable to do this.

Please click on the links below to view and print our basic posters:

 Poster 1 Poster 2 Poster 3

With our limited budget, it’s always difficult to reach new women, so we rely on your help to spread the word about this amazing, unique space.

Please help spread the word by sharing comments and photos of your visit on our facebook page, or by sharing our facebook page to your friends and family. You could also tweet about us!

Donate to The Women’s Holiday Centre now!

10 comments

  1. I stayed at the centre many years ago ..with my daughters ..i was having some issues in my life. My stay at the centre helped me to focus and decide what to do. The environment is relaxing ,welcoming and the scenery is fantastic. The centre will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope to return one day.

  2. I came with a group of women and we had a reading weekend where we read to each other and talked about what we read, interspersed of course with walking. It was brilliant! Such a beautiful place, and lots of positive vibes seeping out of the walls from all those woman who have stayed over the years.

  3. I too stayed at the centre many years ago, and yes it was during a painful time of my life. The environment and the people I met there, that little moment (I was there for just two nights), made all the difference and I was able to leave with a clearer head. Centered and stronger. I too have always promised myself I would go back. Don’t ever close your doors ..please

  4. jasmine · · Reply

    it was simply great! had spend a weekend there! and i could feel my life coming back on track! was happier, joyful and lot more relaxed. maybe its the fact that we are living there as a community with other woman that makes it so special!

  5. Louise Hiles · · Reply

    Amazing place, in beautiful surroundings. Great place to get away from it all & back to nature, whilst the kids have fun too!

  6. Lovely place, last stayed in 1998. Will come back one day xx

  7. I have had some wonderful holidays at the women’s centre and met some great women and children. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the children mixing having fun in the garden or park, beautiful walks and the countryside is amazing !!

  8. The women’s holiday centre is something special. Not only is it unique in what it offers i,e, a women only environment but it gives a warm welcome to all in a homely environment based on sharing and co-operation. If you have never been – you have to give it a go and I tell you this much – once you have been, you’re going to keep going back time after time after time. Tell your friends and family.

  9. Alison Jones · · Reply

    Horton is an amazing place, just to watch the video brought back great memories. I brought my daughter here many times when she was young and she can still recount every time! I havent managed to get up for quite some time, but seeing the video made me realise that everyone needs some horton time and I will be making a visit soon. If you havent been then I urge you to do so, its just unique!

  10. Sarah Collis · · Reply

    Congratulations to Cheryl who started working at Horton this week! Looking forward to visiting the house and getting some great Horton hospitality from a very special talented woman, good luck Cheryl xx

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