A hotel opened its doors to give homeless people a home during lockdown – securing jobs for all its staff in the process.
The Woodlands Hotel, in Broughty Ferry, gave a temporary home to around 60 people between April 4 and June 14 who otherwise would have had no where else to go.
Guests were placed in the hotel by Dundee City Council, having registered as homeless or in emergency housing situations, such as those fleeing domestic abuse.
Most stayed for around a week before being moved into longer term accommodation.
Nicky Robertson, the hotel’s general manager, said: “We had a couple of families stay but it was mostly individuals in circumstances which meant they had nowhere else to go.
“A lot of them were here because their relationship had broken down, some were escaping domestic violence, some had been furloughed or were self employed – one guy was working throughout lockdown but had lost his flat.
“They were all lovely and very grateful, it was a very positive experience. There wasn’t many of us working but what we realised was that it could happen to anyone.”
The arrangement with the council meant the hotel could open its remaining rooms to key workers – a service it would not have otherwise be able to provide as it would not have been financially viable to operate without that.
And it has meant business has remained steady, therefore securing all of its staff member’s jobs in the process.
Nicky said: “We felt it was important to give something back to the community because this facility would have just sat unused if we hadn’t.
“But it has also meant we were able to stay afloat during a very difficult time and there have been no redundancies as a result and we aim to keep it that way.”
Additional security and safety procedures were put in place to protect those staying and working in the hotel and all areas of the hotel, including rooms, were and still are being regularly sanitised.
Those who were working volunteered to donate their tips to a local homeless charity, yet to be decided, and £100 was raised which will be matched by the hotel.
Furloughed staff at the hotel are currently in the process of making a phased return to work.