When lockdown came it felt a bit like when you slipped off the pedals on your BMX as a kid and you landed right on the top bar.
REET between your legs.
A rare event but very painful and there seemed no way to make it feel better.
Hotels and bed and breakfasts (places with shared areas) were forced to close by government legislation.
We had 100% cancellation requests from every single of our existing bookings throughout lockdown, and although we didn’t have to we went out of our way to give FULL REFUNDS to EVERY SINGLE person who needed to cancel.
But we always look for the positives and we were one of the lucky ones who could stay open.
But we weren’t allowed to take many types of guests during lockdown.
So many people who do what we do (self catering) decided to take the grants available and close up shop.
Things will blow over and be okay in a few months.
Either kick back and enjoy the nice weather or maybe do all of the maintenance that hadn’t been tended to over the years.
Meaning even less places were available for those that needed it.
So we felt lucky to be in a position to be able to help those in need of accommodation.
And we didn’t take any financial help.
But we reduced our rates.
Roughly by about 50%.
And we worked our “proverbials” off.
We asked around friends, used social media, contacted all of the local hospitals in our areas, the councils, charities who may need help to house those in need at a time of fear and confusion.
And we took bookings.
Not a surge but they trickled in.
Enough to keep the wolf from the door.
A doctor seconded to South Tyneside Hospital.
2 doctors who moved to Aberdeen to work at the ARI.
A nurse at Albyn Hospital who needed to shield due to vulnerable people in her household.
A team of specialist rail workers to work on the Metro system to keep the Tyne & Wear transport system going.
Three families, one from Aberdeen retuning from being made redundant overseas and one and from South Shields and Aberdeen, both of whom became homeless due to their homes flooding.
It was a fantastic feeling to be able to help these lovely people out at a time when accommodation was hard to come by.
Especially nice accommodation like ours.
Help people and their families adjust to a new town, a new country!
Settle in while they get over jet lag (and adjusting to an Aberdeen summer after the middle east climate!) or the shock at having to leave their own homes after a big accident.
Make sure their kids and elderly family stay healthy and happy.
It was a great feeling.
And we want to say a HUGE thanks to all of you.
From a personal point of view we love ALL key workers.
Those at South Tyneside Recycling Village who helped us when we needed to dispose of some waste there yesterday. Those who empty our bins, and look after our vulnerable, keep our transport, energy and telecoms system running, deliver our food, serve us our shopping.
The list goes on.
But business (our livelihood) was very tough during this period so I will be forever grateful to all of you who stayed with us during lockdown.
And your bookings contributed toward keeping us afloat during those very difficult few months.
I drafted this blog post last night.
So this morning when I saw this review had came in yesterday from one of our key worker lockdown bookings it seemed natural to include it here!
So a massive thanks to Azzain, Chris, Tom, John, Pete, Lisa, Emma, Catriona, our lockdown guests and every other key worker who kept the country running when lots of us couldn’t.
We love you all and hope that you all have a great summer and manage get some well earned rest.