Staff at Lake District Hotel Group outside the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa
Lake District Hotels has recognised the dedication and commitment of its longest-serving employees with a celebration at one of its landmark venues.
The hotel group marked the achievements of 37 staff members who have been with the company for 10 years or more, with a combined total of 664 years of service.
They were treated to a Christmas afternoon tea at the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa by Derwentwater, one of six Lake District hotels run by the group.
Staff from all front-of-house departments attended the event, which was the first time the group had held a long service awards ceremony.
“We’ve been thinking about holding long service awards for a while now to show our appreciation for the loyalty of the staff and, after the challenges of the past 18 months due to the pandemic, we felt now was the right time to celebrate something positive," says Dani Hope, director of Lake District Hotels.
“Our team is crucial to the company. They help to shape the business with their in-depth understanding of how it works and are key to our continued success.
“It’s important to us that people are happy in their roles and our internal promotion structure ensures that they can start at an entry-level and work their way up to management, which is the case with many of the long serving members of our team.
“As a family business, we spend a lot of time in the hotels so we get to know our staff. We also encourage our general managers to look after their teams as if they were family, which makes them feel part of something special. We hope to celebrate many more years of long service in the future.”
Lake District Hotels employs a total of 330 people who are based at its six venues including the Inn on the Square, the Kings Arms and the Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick town centre; the Borrowdale Hotel in Borrowdale; the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding, and the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa.
As well as enjoying afternoon tea, guests at the ceremony were presented with a goodie bag including a silver-plated personalised photo frame to display a professional photo taken on the day.
They also received one or two days of extra annual leave (depending on length of service), an overnight stay with dinner for two in one of the hotels (for those with 15 years or more service), and a thank you card from the directors, which along with Dani includes her parents Kit and Charles Graves.
The group’s longest-serving employee Cath Serginson, who works at the Borrowdale Hotel and has been with the company for nearly 45 years, received several rounds of applause during her presentation.
Neels Ferreira, 46, who is General Manager at The Skiddaw Hotel and has worked for Lake District Hotels for 12 years, was another recipient at the long service awards.
He said: “It’s all about the people, and building relationships with your team and with the guests. We have regulars at the Skiddaw Hotel who will pop into the hotel a couple of times a week which adds to the feeling that we’re part of the community. I enjoy seeing them and meeting new people who visit the hotel.”
Jo Kearney, 43, who has worked for Lake District Hotels for 21 years, has been based in central reservations for the past six years. She began her career at the former Queens Hotel in Keswick, now the Inn on the Square, and was a duty manager before moving to her current role where she deals with enquiries from the public and takes bookings for all the hotels.
She said: “My role has changed over the years to allow me to work around childcare, while still doing a job I love. I’m part of a great team, and love the variety of the job.”
Thomas Batty, 27, was still at school when he started waiting tables for Lake District Hotels, and was Assistant Manager at Inn on the Lake by the time he was 23.
He said: “I love interacting with people, and the event side of the industry such as organising weddings. I’ve done leadership and management training through Lake District Hotels, which allowed me to further my career. Being part of the team at Inn on the Lake is also being part of a community, both as part of the team at the hotel, and within the village of Glenridding.”