13th May, 2020: The UK’s largest holiday park operator, Parkdean Resorts, has provided free accommodation to front-line NHS workers during the Coronavirus crisis.
After government instruction in March, the company’s 67 parks shut down, and were left empty, save for a handful of key security and maintenance staff on each park. With caravans and lodges available, Parkdean Resorts took the decision to contact local healthcare authorities to offer free accommodation on selected parks to NHS key workers in need of a convenient place to stay at the end of their shifts, or living with any vulnerable or at-risk family members.
So far, free accommodation has been offered to NHS workers at four parks across the country: Torquay, Whitley Bay in Northumberland, Vauxhall in Great Yarmouth, and Southview in Skegness. In total, the four parks have housed more than fifty key workers for a total of more than 1000 nights, with a total value of over £70,000.
Rob Warner, Operations Director for Parkdean Resorts said: “The vast majority of our teams live locally to our parks so they’ve been keen to give back to the local community and in particular to support NHS staff who have been doing such an incredible job throughout the Coronavirus crisis. As our own small way of showing our thanks and appreciation for all they have been doing, we were happy to offer our park facilities for free to support key workers.”
NHS Community support worker, Stephanie Head, was one of the key workers who took advantage of Parkdean Resorts’ offer of free accommodation, at Torquay. She said: “Due to living with my parents who are in their 70s, I had to find temporary accommodation to keep them safe. I cannot thank Parkdean and their staff enough for making this possible! The overall experience was perfect. The staff were friendly and helpful, and I could not fault the accommodation.”
NHS Operating Department Practitioner, Mark Simpson, stayed at Whitley Bay, adding, “I have three young children at home, who have been worried about the situation. I cannot thank Parkdean enough, their staff have been very friendly and the overall experience has been amazing.”
And NHS Pharmacist, Samuel Tsui, was grateful to be able to stay at Vauxhall: “I had come down to Norfolk to cover NHS Staff shortages in the area for a week. I had been struggling to find accommodation until I came across Vauxhall Holiday Park! I really can’t thank Parkdean Resorts enough. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, the park was very secure with locked gates and the caravan I stayed had everything I needed and was very comfortable, this allowed me to self- isolate efficiently and get a good night’s rest after a long day at work. Thank you, Vauxhall, for opening your doors for NHS staff in these uncertain times!”
Throughout the lockdown, many of Parkdean Resorts’ holiday park teams have also shown support for their local communities by donating tens of thousands of pounds worth of unused food to local foodbanks and charities.
Parkdean Resorts is the UK’s largest operator of caravan, lodge, cabin, glamping and camping holiday resorts, and was named Best UK Family Holiday Company 2019 at the British Travel Awards, the UK’s biggest opinion poll for travel and tourism in the country. Earlier this year, the company announced an investment of over £80million in its business across Britain.