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Gatwick Hotel lights up in appreciation and support for NHS



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.


Crawley businesses take out over £90m in loans to survive COVID-19



Statistics released by the Government have revealed the true extent of lending taken up by businesses across Crawley.

According to a release from the office of Crawley’s MP Henry SMith, businesses across Crawley have benefitted from £92,721,494 worth of loans since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes 1,724 Bounce Back Loans worth £51,495,006 and 102 loans at a value of £41,226,488 through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme.

The number is part of the vast number that have been taken out throughout the whole of the south east of England, where a total of 175,946 Bounce Back Loans, worth £5,269,988,799, and 9,026 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, worth £2,154,703,689, have been provided to support businesses across all sectors, protecting jobs and livelihoods.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said;

“This year has been hugely challenging for businesses in Crawley, but these latest figures demonstrate the scale of support that the Government has put in place to protect livelihoods and businesses.

“Never has the Government’s agenda to level up the whole county been so important. I’ll continue to focus on supporting hardworking families across Crawley.”

With cases still rising and worries that more areas across the country may enter tighter restricttions, the Chancellor has also announced that the Government’s Job Support Scheme will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions, alongside increasing the cash grants to businesses in England required to shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs – worth up to £3,000 per month.

So far, the Government has provided over £200 billion throughout its economic response to coronavirus to support jobs and businesses in the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented;

“Our support for businesses and workers has provided a lifeline to employers up and down the country, supporting people to stay in jobs and protecting livelihoods. “We will build on this as we move to the next stage of our recovery through the Winter Economy Plan, which will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the months ahead.”

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