A Personal Letter from Us
Sunday 29th March 2020
As I sit here in the office looking out I have seen glorious sunshine, snow and howling winds (which have just taken out the village’s power supply)…so it seems in these uncertain times even the weather does not know what it is doing.
It has been a very intense time at our business this last week, like nothing we have ever experienced. However, this pales into insignificance when seeing everything else going on around us on a local, national and global level.
Firstly I would like to express our gratitude to the NHS staff and all of the other key workers around them who are doing such an incredible job. In addition, we also wish to thank the many others supporting them including the bus drivers getting the key workers to work, those in our supermarkets feeding us, the care workers protecting the vulnerable and now the armed forces building Nightingale and other pop up hospitals. I am well aware there is still a very, very long way to go, but I wish to share our huge thanks to them all for everything they are doing and what they will continue to do so bravely in the coming challenging weeks.
I’m sure that, as we have experienced, many will have friends and family who have been infected with the virus. Hopefully most will come through it like we have fortunately seen, but to those who do not, we pass on our thoughts to you. To all our friends who come to stay with us at The Suffolk Escape we hope you are all well and your friends and family are safe. We wish you all the very best and please stay safe.
As I mentioned, it’s been a busy week here at The Suffolk Escape on a business front. We have been working day and night to update our guests. I made the decision to phone every single guest who has booked to come and stay with us in the next 11 weeks, rather than send a blanket email. I wanted to personally update them on our situation, find out what their position was and ensure they are safe and well. We have now made all of those initial calls, know everyone’s situation and have a database of actions for both us and them to ensure nothing is missed.
We are a very small company and these are challenging times for all businesses, especially for the whole of the hospitality industry. However, with the support our guests have shown us, combined with the packages announced by the Government, we wish to reassure our future guests that we see no reason why our business cannot keep solvent and be ready to host you once we are through this. It means some lean times in the short term but we will get through this. Equally importantly, we will also ensure we are able to look after our wonderful staff, many of whom are self-employed and have young families.
Currently we are holding off accepting any new bookings until the end of June and await further government guidance. If the Government’s travel restrictions are lifted sooner, enabling people to travel to us before that time, we will open up those dates on our calendar. However to save on moving people again, we are going to block those dates off for the time being. To reassure those with existing bookings for June and beyond, they remain in place and if it looks like they could be impacted by the virus we will be in contact with you way ahead of that time. We will also be contacting those bookings to discuss postponing balance payments in the short term as the Government’s travel restrictions rolls on.
We would also like to make a pledge that once we are back to normal we aim to offer free holidays for some of the key NHS staff, local to us, who are at the very front line putting their lives in danger. Their bravery and selflessness is truly inspirational and words cannot put into context how grateful we are for everything they are doing. This is in no way to disregard all the amazing work so very many others are doing but we are a very small company trying to get out the other side of this crisis ourselves and are limited to how many we can personally help. I am sure, in time, we will see thousands of other businesses offering similar support to those who are doing so much in these times to help keep the country safe.
We will ensure that we keep communicating updates to everyone. This will be both personally to those due to holiday in the coming weeks but also on here, like this, to keep sharing the bigger picture to all. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to speak to me about any concerns or needs any help here is my direct mobile number. (Andrew Bryce, Owner: 07957461011)
To close, we would also like to just echo the statements by the Government; please stay home unless it’s vital to go outside, to ensure we help protect our NHS and save lives.
Please stay safe,
See you soon.
Andrew, Sarah and Jess