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Scottish Hospitality for Heroes - Press Statement, 25th April 2020

Crerar Hotels launches ‘Scottish Hospitality for Heroes’ - a hospitality initiative to thank NHS and Care Workers with a gift of close to 2000 “nights away” for NHS, Care Workers and their families

Privately owned leading Scottish hotel company Crerar Hotels today announces the launch of ‘Scottish Hospitality for Heroes’. This initiative will give the company and the public an opportunity to express their gratitude to the heroes within the NHS that continue to work tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

The ‘Scottish Hospitality for Heroes’ campaign will begin with two key initiatives as part of the launch which will give these heroes an opportunity to experience the true “Spirit of Scotland” through Crerar’s ‘Spiorad na h-Alba’ hospitality and outstanding locations.

NHS Hero Celebration Weekend

Once the lockdown is lifted and travel restrictions are eased, the company will announce a chosen weekend in 2020 when all Crerar Hotels will be given over EXCLUSIVELY to NHS, care workers and their families. The tentative date is last weekend, or so, of August.

Every Crerar Hotel will give every bedroom, executive room and suite to this for a very special EXCLUSIVE Friday and Saturday night stay. 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 and there will even be wine to toast with!

Across Crerar Hotels that weekend there will be close to 2000 NHS workers and family enjoying a “night away” on Scottish hospitality.

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 lock down 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.”

“Local Hospitality for Heroes”

Crerar Hotels will be working to encourage local hospitality businesses and local people to get behind this big thank you.

 CEO Chris Wayne-Wills, “…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 in to 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.”

NHS workers can register their interest in applying for a free weekend break by emailing from an NHS account to hospitalityforheroes@crerarhotels.com

NHS workers can also be nominated by the public via Crerar Hotels Facebook pages.

Details of availability and how to make complimentary bookings will be confirmed once the lockdown is lifted and the dates for the “NHS Heroes Celebration Weekend” are confirmed. Allocation of room and type will be dictated on first come basis and subject to room configuration.

Gifts of Gratitude....and a half!

Crerar Hotels will also be 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!

Chris Wayne-Wills, “…we have already had people asking us to do this for them, all we’ve done is take it a stage further. It’s really simple, for example if a grateful member of the public wants to gift £100 to thank an NHS hero then Crerar Hotels will issue gift vouchers to the value of £150 to the NHS worker. We give half as much again!”

Details of how to purchase the NHS Hero Gift Vouchers will be available on the company’s website www.crerarhotels.com

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 it can have been 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.”

“…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 have already taken deep breaths to support their hospitality partners, and yet once again they have, 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”

“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.”

“…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 lock down to say thank you this summer, then we will do it spring or whenever it’s safe to do so.”

Chris Wayne-Wills, recently appointed CEO Crerar Hotels added,

“Throughout the company we are all extremely grateful to the true heroes of this crisis, the NHS workers. We wanted a way to express that gratitude and the way to do that is by doing what we do best, that is the hospitality we offer every day at every Crerar Hotel. This is a wonderful opportunity for us all to say thank you. I am particularly looking forward to the NHS Heroes Celebration Weekend when I will be back “working on the floor” at a few of the hotels to get the chance to personally thank as many NHS heroes as possible”

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