Independently owned hotel, Horwood House, has teamed up with national homelessness charity CRISIS, and upcycling company Recoup, to transform an unused, syndicate break-out space into a creative and crafted coffee lounge for delegates.
One of the biggest initiatives for Horwood House in the last 12 months has been our charitable work with Crisis UK. Transforming an unused break out space into the carefully crafted area that we have now which provides a unique experience for delegates whilst also raising much needed funds for a vital cause, is a huge success for us as a business. We chose to have antique headboards as panelling, representing us as a business selling comfortable bedrooms in a safe place and linking us to those who sadly do not have a comfortable bed in a safe place.
During our extensive refurbishment starting in 2019, we donated furniture to a local homeless charity which included beds, mattresses, pillows and duvets. Following on from our donations we looked at how we could support homelessness nationally. So, with an innovative approach
to fundraising and at the same time improving our client experience , we started our journey with Recoup. Recoup design spaces using 95% repurposed, antique & salvaged materials.
So far in 2023 , we have raised over £9000 for CRISIS UK through various initiatives including our CRISIS Charity Coffee, 15% of coffee sales goes directly to CRISIS. Changes in our room service offering, means that every room not serviced, we donate the equivalent of a free meal.
Our partnership with CRISIS and Recoup has enhanced our reputation in the local community, giving us wider exposure in the leisure, spa and casual dining markets. Nationally, as a ‘new kid on the block’ Hotel, partnering with a recognised charity has increased our credibility and given us gravitas alongside our peers in the industry. We have won conference business due to clients buying into the initiative, most recently a national fashion company confirmed that they would hold their welcome speech in the CRISIS lounge and donate at the same time as well as using the CRISIS coffee.
Internally, Horwood House has been greatly enhanced in all areas. Staff are incredibly proud to offer the CRISIS lounge to clients looking for an inspirational space to work. Clients admire our commitment to contribute to a fairer world, where everyone can enjoy the warmth of their own bed.
The Senior Management team of Horwood House, firstly engaged with the Director of Enterprise and Innovation at CRISIS to see how we could partner with them. Everyone at Horwood felt strongly that our charity partner should be CRISIS, as we are in the business of providing a safe, warm place to stay when clients are away from their homes- The opposite of what a homeless person experiences. Secondly, we needed to reimagine one of our conference areas and rather than engage a hotel furniture supplier and repeat the same feel of the hotel, we wanted to support an independent company that had a work ethic that reflected our own. Recoup design found individual pieces of furniture that had a ‘nod’ to our garden history for example: using metal buckets as lamp shades. Then acknowledging our business as a hotel, using vintage, bed headboards, as panelling. Representing CRISIS and homeless people who don’t have a permanent bed. Artwork was created in the form of explaining the message of the lounge, which was shared from CRISIS members and photographs were taken of members restoring the furniture. We had CRISIS members visit and stay at the hotel during the installation. At the launch party, all partners; Horwood House, CRISIS and Recoup were joined by our Mayor, business partners, staff and community members, it was a proud moment for us all.
The launch party was a wonderful
opportunity for us to see how well the space would work for our clients.
We intend to continue and develop this work with further campaigns and initiatives and have recently, launched the lounge as a co working option for residents in local area.
Liz Choonara, CRISIS Interim Director of Enterprise and Innovation, said: “We’re delighted to receive such generous support from Horwood House. From creating opportunities for our members in the creation of the space, raising funds through corporate bookings, through to raising the profile of our work – this coffee lounge demonstrates how businesses like Horwood House can play a meaningful role in helping us end homelessness.