The Archbishop of York Youth Trust

Swinton Park Gets Festive for Youth Trust

Swinton Park Gets Festive for Youth Trust

General • 11th October 2017

A charity Christmas Gala at the renowned/splendid castle and spa hotel, Swinton Park, Masham, will be held on Friday 1 December in aid of the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust.

The Christmas Gala black-tie dinner includes a champagne reception with a candlelit recital of carols and readings from the 25-strong Christmas choir, from Yorkshire Voices and the Yorkshire Decibelles, followed by a festive three-course dinner in the award-winning Samuel’s restaurant.  Tickets are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis.  Tickets cost £100pp.

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, whose family has owned Swinton Park since the 1880s, and who will be hosting this event and performing with the choir at the Gala, said: “Christmas at Swinton Park is truly magical. It is such a majestic setting in winter, with the romance of our lake-filled grounds and cosy rooms. The charity Gala is a chance to enjoy a rather special Christmas experience in a beautiful festive atmosphere, while giving something back, tapping into the true meaning of Christmas by raising funds for a cause that we passionately support.”

The Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust is doing vital work in schools across the North. To date, it has supported over 50,000 pupils in 450 schools to complete its Young Leaders Award. The Award teaches leadership skills and positive social values, supporting students to volunteer and run community projects, such as organising Christmas parties for the elderly or fundraising for their local hospice. Mahatma Gandhi’s phrase, ‘be the change you want to see’ is the core value of the Youth Trust.

Dan Finn, Youth Trust Director said, “We’re delighted that Swinton Park has kindly agreed to support the Youth Trust at their annual Christmas Gala. Our Young Leaders Award is growing across the North and we are supporting thousands of young people in hundreds of schools to take part each year. Support from businesses is essential as we reach out to the next generation and equip young people with the leadership skills needed; not just to be the leaders of the future, but to be leaders right now in our communities today”.   

The charity is now seeking to raise £375,000 to reach an additional 15,000 young people in 300 schools in disadvantaged communities across the North.

Research from the University of Gloucestershire exploring the efficacy of the Award showed that 60% of school children agreed they would continue to volunteer in their communities after the Award scheme finished. It found significant improvements in confidence, respect, tolerance, and interpersonal skills, as well as an improvement in aspirational thinking and preparing for the future. Teachers have also reported it enthuses dis-engaged learners or children from challenging backgrounds.

Felicity said: “Its amazing to see the work that the Youth Trust are doing within the classroom to support young people in their development of leadership skills and confidence, enabling them to become well-rounded individuals. It's so important to reach those children who don’t have access to activities outside the classroom and provide them with new experiences and opportunities."

Scout Leader, Bear Grylls, has backed the campaign saying, “I’m very proud to support the Archbishop’s work in schools. With the heart and spirit of the Youth Trust’s Young Leaders Award, young people thrive and that is always incredible to see.”

Tickets are limited for this exclusive Charity Gala, book early to secure your place.Guests who would like to stay at the hotel on the night of the event will enjoy a complimentary upgrade of room.

Tickets cost £100 incl. of 3-course dinner and drinks –To book please call 01765 680900 or email  

#BeTheChange to donate go to


About Swinton Park

A luxury castle hotel in the Yorkshire Dales set in beautiful grounds and within the 20,000 acres of the Swinton Estate. Owned by the Cunliffe-Lister family since the 1880s, and the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton, guests at the hotel enjoy an authentic, yet informal stately home experience. Rooms are furnished with antiques and family portraits, with the warmth and grandeur of a traditional English house.

Residents of Swinton Park Hotel have access to Swinton Country Club & Spa. Enjoy a wellness break with access to the pools, heat rooms and gym, perfect for that relaxing getaway. Or simply enjoy the 200 acres of landscaped lakes and gardens and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales countryside – with walking and jogging tracks and cycle hire available, along with falconry, pony trekking and clay pigeon shooting on the Swinton Estate.

The location, close to the pretty market town of Masham and only 15 minutes from the A1, is deceptively convenient. Swinton Park offers a range of Festival breaks and experiences over Christmas and New Year, along with festive cookery courses in the Cookery School.

About the Charity

The Archbishop of York Youth Trust relies on support from schools, grants, individuals and businesses. The Young Leaders Award costs £25 per pupil. To date 50,000 pupils in 450 primary and secondary schools have taken the course since 2008. The Archbishop of York Youth Trust wants to support 15,000 children and young people in 2018 to ‘be the change they want to see.’

To donate go to

Charity registration number: 1129075

For media enquiries, contact Clair Challenor-Chadwick, 

University of Gloucestershire research

*Download the full research report here 


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