As we focus on what for many housekeeping staff is rapidly becoming the ‘New Day Job in The New Normal’ it’s important to not forget in all the hustle and bustle the part our teams played at the height of lockdown. Putting aside their own worries, those employed in hotels providing emergency accommodation – and much more – for NHS and other keyworkers have had an experience which will always be part of their working life memories. A good example is provided by the The Manorview Hotels and Leisure Group of eight boutique hotels in Scotland, where during 16 weeks of closure nearly 3,500 bedrooms were given away free of charge.
Most were at The Bowfield Hotel and The Busby Hotel, with the Lynnhurst, Torrance and The Commercial Hotel also helping. Management watched nervously as the number of frontline workers seeking help increased and will always be proud of the way in which their own furloughed staff volunteered to help. Some NHS staff were looked after for as long as 10 weeks, forging friendships with the housekeeping and other staff who cared for them and their rooms between shifts. Local businesses supported the endeavour with gifts of everything from food to toiletries.
As the pandemic decreased, the extra guests began to leave but inundated hotel staff with their own ‘thank you’ cards and little gifts. They even had a plaque inscribed with a poem to record their gratitude, and this is now on display at the Bowfield Hotel.
Here’s the poem, and although this records what happened at The Manorview Hotels and Leisure Group, we know it reflects the experience of many readers. How would we cope with the battle ahead? You gave us hope and support when we needed it the most With your amazing friendly staff and beautiful hotel to boast You eased all our worries with a welcoming smile and chat As we came and went night and day Through this storm we became a family. This debt we will never be able to repay We can only hope that every guest who comes through your doors Knows our story of how special the hotel and the lovely people in it are And are fittingly rewarded for this selfless generosity Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Team NHS Pandemic 2020