Dozens of homeless people received ‘the best Christmas’ from Hilton after they were given the opportunity to spend two nights at the luxury hotel chain.
The DoubleTree Hilton in Hull offered 28 people in need a bed for two nights on December 24 and 25 – as well as breakfast and dinner – after a nearby hotel abruptly cancelled their original booking.
The nearby Britannia Royal pulled out of hosting at the last minute, meaning those who had been looking forward to the stay were left feeling ‘gutted’ in the run-up to Christmas.
The accommodation was arranged by Raise The Roof Hull, a non-profit community organisation that helps homeless people in the area.
And when people in the community heard what had happened with the original booking, more than £10,000 was donated to get the project back on track.
Thankfully, word got around and staff at the DoubleTree Hilton in Hull heard of the group’s cancellation. As such, they stepped in straight away and offered them complimentary accommodation for two nights, as well as breakfast and Christmas dinner.
As reported by the Metro, the group of 28 checked into the hotel on Christmas Eve and immediately received gift bags filled with clothes and toiletries.
Julie Horner has been living on and off the streets for almost a decade and described the experience as ‘lovely’, saying it was a ‘nice surprise’.
It’s been lovely, it’s been banging to be honest with you. We had a Christmas dinner and we got all our breakfasts as well. When we arrived we got presents like chocolates, toiletries and gift sets. It was a nice surprise.
My favourite part has been waking up and being able to make myself a cup of tea straight away, without having to wait three hours to get enough change to go and buy one.
Zoe Jackson, 37, has been homeless for the past five months and shared a hotel room with Julie over the two nights, which she described as ‘nice’ as the two have become close.
We had turkey and all the trimmings and they even brought us Christmas pudding. It was nice being able to be with Julie as well, because she’s really helped me out.
Steven Bryden says he has been homeless for years and said this was the best Christmas he’s had in a long time, describing it as ‘brilliant’.
It was nice to relax and just generally being off the streets. It’s been absolutely brilliant and I just want to say thank you to Raise The Roof for doing this for us.
Steven shared his hotel room with Steve Alston, who has been homeless for over a year and says he is on the waiting list for three hostels.
He also described the experience as ‘brilliant’, saying:
It’s been a godsend really, having somewhere warm to stay. It was so nice to be able to close my eyes and not wake up to someone spitting on me or kicking my head in. It’s been a brilliant Christmas, though.
And it wasn’t just adults who benefited from this generous act; one of those in need was a seven-year-old child, who would have been spending Christmas on the streets if it wasn’t for the kindness and generosity of Raise The Roof Hull and the community.
In a post on their Facebook page, the non-profit organisation expressed their gratitude for everyone’s generosity, which meant that Santa could visit the child at the hotel, making her day even better.
The season of goodwill just keeps getting better.
Foxy and Tank Cars have just sent Santa to the Hilton Doubletree to give our 7 year old guest a Christmas suprise [sic] both her and her mum are so greatful [sic] thank you
Raise The Roof Hull plans to use the remainder of the money raised to help and rehabilitate homeless people in the area.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).