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Gatwick Hotel lights up in appreciation and support for NHS

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As the weekly clap continues to show the incredible support the nation has for NHS and key workers, one local hotel has found a unique way to join in.

The Premier Inn at Gatwick North Terminal, the largest Premier Inn in the country, has lit up some of its rooms to create a visual show of support.

With no usual hustle and bustle due to the hotel being empty the staff wanted to come up with an initiative that would give them a positive focus.

Now the Premier Inn is an impressive sight with the hotels rooms not only spelling out NHS but they have also created a huge heart and the word HOPE.

Hotel Manager Parik Zala explained how it all came together. He said:

“The idea originally came from a team member whose family works for the NHS so we all wanted to get together and support this good cause. Our team has really enjoyed getting behind this – it’s a group team effort across the UK from Scotland down.

Our team here at Gatwick North is about 260 team members – we’re a highly enthusiastic bunch and we all get excited about choosing the ideas for each day – so far we’ve done a heart, a ‘hope’ sign and the NHS. This is the largest Premier Inn – 701 rooms – so we know it’s a real showstopper.”

But with such a large hotel how do you even go about planning which rooms to light up?

Planning which rooms to light.

Parik explained:

“We have a spreadsheet with the room numbers’ and we plan round this, having a practise first to make sure we’re lighting up the right rooms! Then we go floor by floor and another team checks outside to ensure its correct – it’s great teamwork. The person outside communicates by radio to the light switcher to make sure it’s completely perfect and make any last-minute technical adjustments. We also have to stand outside at the right distance and time to ensure it’s properly dark to check.”

Premier Inn Hotel Manager Parik Zala.

So how long does it take to set it up and who gets the job?

“It’s a good hour to make it happen between planning and execution but it’s worth it! When we’re open there is up to 1500 people in a day so it’s great to have this task when we are closed. From a wellbeing perspective it’s great to have a focus, make ourselves useful and show our support. We’re alternating which team members are available each evening and we’ve all taken real pride in making it happen and showing our support for the NHS and all the amazing key workers.” Parik adds.

The reaction has been incredible with the hotel receiving lots of thank-yous including from Gatwick Authorities and from people whose relatives work in the NHS and other key roles.

Parik said it has inspired other hotels to put their lights on as well and he adds they will continue to light up the hotel as long as they can with the team trying to come up with new words to put on the building.

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‘How is COVID-19 impacting your business?’ Crawley Council wants to know

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Tell Crawley Borough Council about the impact of coronavirus on your business.

The council, working together with Manor Royal BID, has released a new survey asking businesses to report how they have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

In response to the pandemic, the council is forming an Economic Recovery Taskforce alongside local businesses, community and stakeholder representatives to evaluate the true impact of the crisis on the local economy and develop a coherent Economic Recovery Plan for the town, including how the forthcoming Crawley Towns Fund programme should be spent to aid recovery.

This survey will provide the council and Manor Royal BID with “real time” information on the impact of the crisis on day to day business activity in Crawley and help the council and the BID to understand what additional support is needed for local businesses at this time.  

Businesses will be asked how staffing levels and turnover have been affected, what Government business support schemes they have used and what further support they may need.

All responses to the survey will be treated with confidence and the results will only be read by those involved in formulating a response to the COVID-19 crisis as part of Crawley’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Peter Lamb, said: “Our initial aim was to support businesses as quickly as possible, using the Government’s Small Business Rates Relief Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. Now we need to look at our long term recovery plan and this includes hearing from businesses and finding out where further resources need to be directed.”

Executive Director at Manor Royal BID, Steve Sawyer, said:

“How we come through this will depend on our ability to work together for an even better Crawley. We will work enthusiastically alongside the council as part of the Crawley Taskforce, which begins with collecting meaningful data from businesses so we can design a place-specific collective response. We encourage all businesses to complete this short but important survey.”

To fill out the survey, visit crawley.gov.uk/council-information/how-council-works/consultation

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