New Year Honours 2022: Wetherby man awarded MBE following influential work during Covid-19 pandemic

The Queen has recognised the efforts of three people from across our region in her latest New Years Honours, including Wetherby man Andrew Denton.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 11:46 am
Updated Thursday, 6th January 2022, 11:59 am

Andrew Denton, head of communications, content and brand for Best Western Great Britain has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for the work the group undertook in response to Covid-19 to support the NHS and help vulnerable people through the pandemic.

In March 2020, one week before the first national lockdown, the group of 300 hotels offered to support the NHS through the first wave of the pandemic by offering 16,000 rooms to take lower risk patients and free up emergency care beds.

That offer to support resulted in Best Western hotels becoming the first “field hospitals” in Britain since the Second World War as they swapped hotel guests for NHS patients working in partnership with NHS Trusts.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Andrew Denton of Wetherby is to receive an MBE for the work he and Best Western did in supporting the NHS and vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic

Andrew Denton, known as 'Dents' to his colleagues and Best Western members, was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for his “vision and innovation” in turning hotels into hospitals and supporting the NHS through Covid-19.

In addition, Best Western Great Britain supported vulnerable people through the pandemic by providing safe places for victims of domestic abuse to isolate, and worked with national charities, local councils and city councils to give shelter to the homeless.

“Dents” was also awarded the MBE for “prioritising and highlighting the importance of mental health early in the pandemic”, by starting a national letter writing campaign, ‘A Wave With Words’, to help people struggling with isolation and loneliness in lockdown.

The campaign was delivered by the whole of the Best Western group of hotels and the central office team and supported isolated people at a time when physical contact was not possible.

Harrogate's Belmont Grosvenor School appoints new headteacherAndrew said: “I’m hugely proud of all the work Best Western did during the pandemic to support the NHS and help vulnerable people.

"We made a decision really early on as a team that we wanted to try and help the country through the crisis if we could and its humbling to think that has been recognised at a national level.

"The MBE is a proud moment, not just for me, but for everyone at Best Western for everything we did at a local and national level to make a difference.”

Tim Rumney, CEO of Best Western Great Britain, added: “Dents has been an inspiration to his colleagues and our hotel members throughout the pandemic.

"His compassion, creativeness and dedication have given all of us something positive to focus on.

"He and the rest of our wonderful team and hoteliers have demonstrated the commitment we have to our communities and our customers and are we are truly delighted for him to receive this honour.”