Crerar Hotels, the privately owned Scottish hotel company has earmarked the last weekend in August to give NHS and Care Workers and their families a weekend to remember – the NHS Hero Celebration Weekend, once the lockdown is over and it is urging other hospitality businesses to get involved too.
Paddy Crerar, CBE, Chairman, Crerar Hotels said, “Our hope is that other Scottish hoteliers and hospitality businesses join us in this big thank you. We thought of bringing together a larger more coordinated group and had to dismiss that. Every business has suffered, some may be able to join and that can only be their choice. We certainly hope some will, and will still feel we are doing what we can if it’s only ourselves that are able to commit. We are privately owned, Scottish and hefted to where we are, for others, it’s maybe different.”
Every Crerar Hotel and there are seven in total, the Golf View, Nairn; Thainstone House, Inverurie; Deeside Inn, Ballater; Oban Bay, Oban; Isle of Mull, Craignure, Mull; Glencoe Inn & Gathering, Glencoe and the Loch Fyne Hotel, Inveraray will give every bedroom, executive room and suite (382 rooms in total) to this for a very special exclusive Friday and Saturday night stay which is tentatively set for the end of August.
In addition to the free stay, dinner (be that AA rosette dining or a casual inn dining) and breakfast during the stay will be gifted.
The hotel group has come up with the ‘Scottish Hospitality for Heroes’ campaign to say thank you to all the key workers and it offers these heroes an opportunity to experience the true “Spirit of Scotland” through Crerar’s ‘Spiorad na h-Alba’ hospitality and outstanding locations.
Crerar Hotels CEO, Chris Wayne-Wills, “We are determined to make this as big a thank you as we can. Already we have been really encouraged by the reaction of the loyal Crerar guests we have contacted to ask that their bookings get moved to free up the availability we need (date can only be confirmed after lockdown lifted). Every single one has said yes and more – many turning their deposit into a donation to help the big thank you. Of course for those that do this we will make sure in every room given through that kindness there’s a wee something extra, and a letter of gratitude is left for the NHS/Carer hero on behalf of the Crerar guest that has gifted it.”
As well as Scottish Hospitality for Heroes the group is also promoting ‘Local Hospitality for Hereos’ and is encouraging local hospitality businesses and local people to get behind this big thank you.
Crerar Hotel employees and guests can also nominate a local hero who has supported their communities during the crisis, the vouchers. The nominations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Wayne-Wills, says “This is everyone’s business and a chance for everyone to say thank you, when we welcome these frontline heroes we’d like to have help from our local partners and we are talking with them right now. Tickets to distilleries, wildlife boat trips, a fiddler for entertainment, access to museums, a cask of beer behind the bar from a local brewery or whatever a local can give would be great. Everybody can make this their special thank you.”
“Local people can express their thanks too. We really want the hotels to be exclusively for NHS and carers – these people will need our care as we needed and still need theirs. So, coming into the hotel to say thanks and buy a round of drinks is maybe ill-advised even if well-intended. We believe if that’s what a local wants to do then do it “virtually” and give the folk we are saying thank you to space to relax and be normal. Let us do it for you – buy a round, a steak, a bottle of wine or whatever you like. Do it in advance and we will make sure it’s delivered as your thank you.”
The company is also issuing NHS Hero Gift Vouchers. The public will be able to express thanks to any NHS workers by purchasing monetary gift vouchers, with Crerar Hotels adding half as much again to the value! “The Crerar Trust have also gifted £25,000 towards a “Help for Local Heroes” scheme. The scheme is to support a Crerar Hotels gift voucher issue to local heroes; key workers such as shop workers, emergency response personnel, refuse collectors who have contributed during the crisis.
Paddy Crerar CBE, Chairman, Crerar Hotels commented, “These have been exceptionally challenging times, terrifying in fact and we have a way to go yet. Day in and day out the NHS folk and care workers have stepped up and if we ordinary folk stuck at home have been fearful how must it be for those that had no choice. We should all be rightly proud of our NHS workers, the carers and all of those who have done all they can despite the grave risks to themselves.“
“These folk must be exhausted, tired beyond belief and most likely also tired of talking about it. If we can give them a night or two of safe respite and a return to a form of normal hopefully that’s a good thing for them. We are just hoteliers, all we can do is show our thanks through what we do best and of course, we wish it could be more.”
He continues, “At the start of the crisis, one of our supply partners (Billy McNeill, YourTex) said to me, “we are all going to have to look after each other” – how right he’s been and we are determined to continue to live that way. We have some great business partners including Belhaven Brewery, De Burgh Wine Merchants, Scottish beef from Campbell Brothers, game from Braehead Foods and many more who without being asked, sought to help us where they can with this big thank you. That’s going to be remembered.”
“The NHS and care workers were ready to look after all of us and we will be ready to open our doors to say thank you in whatever way we can as soon as it’s safe to do so. It’s been a hellish time for all and every business has taken a serious hit, we are no different and yet it seems nothing by comparison to the personal sacrifice already given by NHS and care workers. I’m determined that we give recognition to this massive effort made by these good people at our time of need. It’s little what we can do and I hope other hospitality businesses will join us to show the world just how good the spirit of Scotland really is. At Crerar, that’s what we will do, through authentic hospitality and this expression of gratitude to our NHS and Care heroes”
“If the First Minister says we must stay shut we will – no protest. We must all do what we can to protect the nation’s health. If it’s impossible through a continued lockdown to say thank you, this summer, then we will do it spring or whenever it’s safe to do so.”
Chris concludes, “Crerar Hotels hope that many other hospitality companies will join this initiative so as many NHS heroes as possible can be thanked and are in ongoing discussions with suppliers and other leading hospitality companies to become involved and hopefully make the NHS & Carer big celebration weekend an industry and Scottish wide event as a festival of gratitude.”