New Year Honours list features an ICH colleague

Andrew Denton, Comms, Content and Brand Director for BWH Hotel Group, expresses surprise and gratitude after being honoured with an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list for services to the NHS.

Beacon's sister company, Best Western Hotels Hotel Group, is proud to announce that Andrew Denton will receive an MBE for charitable services to the NHS through his work turning hotels into field hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to Andrew's enthusiasm and dedication, 16,000 rooms from BWH Hotel Group members were offered to the NHS with a further 80 hotels kept open to help NHS staff, key workers and the vulnerable. Turning hotels into field hospitals, for the first time since the war, enabled the NHS to help take less urgent patients away from critical care beds and emergency wards.

"It's just one of those things that you never expect to happen." Andrew said "You're coming in from work and there is a yellowy letter on the sideboard and as you open it, it says cabinet office on it, you start reading the words. It's this incredible, emotional, magical moment."

"It still hasn't sunk in and I don't think it will for a while." Andrew explained "I'm sure my friends will keep me very much firmly on the ground though and just take the micky out of me. I did genuinely think it was one of them winding me up."

Andrew was also the first to start conversations with local authorities and police forces in a bid to provide hotels as places of refuge for vulnerable people, such as domestic abuse victims, homeless and rough sleepers.

He also helped create a national letter writing campaign, 'Wave with Words', to support people struggling in lockdown with isolation, loneliness and mental health. That campaign resulted in the writing of over 2,000 letters to people from the age of 5 to 103 to keep their spirits up. His efforts, initiative and innovation turned a hotel business into a vital support function for the NHS, police and local authorities.

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