A Hilton hotel has offered rooms to 28 homeless people for December 24 and 25 after another hotel abruptly cancelled the original booking.
The DoubleTree Hilton in Hull, is offering a bed for two nights, breakfast and dinner for those in need after the nearby Britannia Royal pulled out of hosting at the last minute.
The accommodation was arranged by Raise The Roof Hull, a non-profit community organisation that helps homeless people in the area.
Organiser Carl Simpson has criticised the Britannia Royal, accusing it of discrimination after they cancelled the booking and refunded the £1,092 the group had paid for it.
Writing on Facebook, Carl said:
Absolutely gutted and very angry.
We have been on the phone with the Royal hotel Hull and they tell us that the 14 twin rooms we had booked for the homeless on Xmas Eve and Xmas day have been cancelled and money refunded.
Before we booked this hotel we informed them that we was a homeless project and what it was for and they was fine about it so we paid £1092.
I asked for a reason and was told there isn’t one, I’ve asked for a email to be sent asap giving reason for this action so will update you when it arrives but in my eyes this is nothing more than discrimination especially after we was so open about what it was for.
Our Xmas hotel campaign is now in serious doubt being so close to Xmas we need a miracle. [sic]
After initially not giving a reason for cancelling the booking, the Britannia hotel later said it was because they had heard reports of bad behaviour when the booking was made at another hotel last year, according to Sky News.
However, in another post on the group’s Facebook page, they say the claims of disruptive behaviour are untrue, and the Ibis hotel which hosted last year’s booking did not experience any problems. The group claims these rumours were spread by someone not affiliated with either party.
Thankfully, staff at the DoubleTree Hilton in Hull heard of the community group’s cancellation and have now offered them complimentary accommodation for two nights, as well as breakfast and Christmas dinner.
Furthermore, several businesses in the area have been in touch with the group offering to pay for rooms and provide more meals for the homeless people.
The group wrote:
On a much happier note we can confirm that the Doubletree Hilton have offered to put up 28. People for 2 night’s with breakfast and Xmas dinner provided and they are doing this complimentary.
Thank you so much we will be accepting this kind offer.
We have also been offered help by several businesses including Nationwide Building Society who had offered to pay for the rooms, the Village hotel offering Xmas dinner and lots of others thank you all.
Who says miracles don’t happen x
We have had an amazing amount of donations that we was not expecting, we will be having a meeting in the new year to decide who to best use them to support the homeless further. [sic]
After the initial booking was cancelling, the community group have reportedly received nearly £10,000 in donations, which they plan to use helping and rehabilitating homeless people in the area.
UNILAD has contacted the Britannia Royal for comment.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.