After everything they’ve done for us since the start of the pandemic (and long before that for that matter), it seems only right we give back to our marvellous NHS workers. Apex Hotels has teamed up with charity Operation Recuperation to give away five dream weddings to the most deserving of brides and grooms-to-be
In the last year, we’ve all had the NHS and its heroic staff firmly on our minds – and how on earth we might even begin to thank them. It seems impossible, right? Well, a good start could be with their weddings. Many of our hospitals’ hardest-working doctors, nurses, consultants and cleaners have been just as heartbroken and despairing as the rest of us at the rounds of restrictions, postponements and cancellations this virus has forced upon us. Now things have eased considerably, wouldn’t it be incredible if they could be gifted their once-in-a-lifetime celebrations?
That is exactly the aim of Apex Hotels. The hotel chain has teamed up with Operation Recuperation, an organisation that’s worked with 20 of the worst-hit hospital trusts to donate stays in holiday homes, hotels and B&Bs to frontline staff, to give away five weddings to NHS workers, three of which will be from Scotland. The participating Scottish hotels include the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel and Apex Grassmarket Hotel in Edinburgh and the Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee.
The winning couples (selected from over 4,000 vetted workers invited to apply to Operation Recuperation over the course of the pandemic) will be treated to all the essentials, thanks to the hotels and their networks of key suppliers, with big days for up to 50 people being laid on. Each venue will provide a three-course wedding breakfast, drinks package, evening buffet, top table flowers, ceremony room hire and upgraded wedding night accommodation. Fancy!
It’s not the first time Apex has partnered up with the charity – earlier in the year, the pair also gave away 10 overnight stays to NHS workers – but it’s definitely the most ambitious scheme yet. “We’re thrilled to be working again with Operation Recuperation – this time to turn deserving NHS workers’ dream big days into reality,” explains Kim Wilkinson, group director of sales for Apex Hotels. “Across five of our UK properties, we’ll be providing wedding packages worth a total of £30,000. Thanks to the unbelievable generosity of our trusted network of suppliers, we’ll be able to add lots of little touches to ensure our couples have the most special day possible.
“These heroes have worked exceptionally hard over the course of the past year and, like many others, have had their major milestone moments either postponed or totally cancelled as a result. We want to do our bit to say ‘thank you’ for all they do by helping in any way we can – and luckily, we’re pretty good at weddings.”
For Rachel Sherwood, founder of Operation Recuperation, the thought of gifting brave NHS staff their big days went so much further than her original mission of affording them a little luxury and breathing space in the form of an overnight stay. She was blown away by the offer.
“When the team at Apex asked if we’d like to help them give away wedding packages to NHS workers who’d had their big days postponed, the answer was a resounding YES!” she smiles. “We’ve had a lot of superb donations to Operation Recuperation since March 2020 and it’s been a joy to give them away to almost 1,000 members of staff, but this is extra special, as it’ll be creating lifelong memories for the NHS ‘winners’ and their loved ones. It’s a brilliant idea from a company who have been a privilege to partner with. I can’t wait to make it a reality.”
Couples invited to nominate themselves via Operation Recuperation will have until 24th July to apply. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for you!