This Sunderland hotel's kind gesture means Bonmarché staff can enjoy their Christmas party despite company going into administration

A Sunderland hotel’s kind gesture means staff at the city’s Bonmarché stores, who are facing uncertainty after the company went into administration, will be able to enjoy their Christmas party.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 5:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:44 am
Best Western Roker Hotel general manager Craig Morris is putting on a Christmas Party for staff of Bonmarche.

Staff at Bonmarché stores, based in Sunderland and Washington, had paid deposits to enjoy a Dirty Dancing themed Christmas party at the Best Western Roker Hotel.

But hit with uncertainty after the national clothing company went into administration earlier this month, staff had called to cancel their festive celebration.

Instead, Roker Hotel told ‘deserving’ staff not to worry about any further payment but to come along and enjoy their night together.

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Craig Morris

General manager, Craig Morris said: “They gave us a call and explained the situation and said they wanted to cancel.

“It’s not a nice position to be in so close to Christmas and it’s not a nice thing to go through.

“We thought that we could offer them something so we called back and said you should come and enjoy yourself and told them they wouldn’t have to pay any more towards it.

“We just thought it would be nice for all these colleagues and friends to be able to get together and have a night to enjoy themselves.

“It’s a stressful time, especially so close to Christmas, it’s nice to try and do something to help.”

When the news of the hotel’s kind gesture surfaced on social media on Thursday, October 24, staff at the hotel in Roker Terrace were overwhelmed with messages of support.

“We didn’t expect anything to come of it, but it went wild on social media yesterday and we’ve had loads of messages with people saying it’s a lovely thing to do,” said Craig, who has been at the hotel for two years.

“We’ve had someone who lives in South Africa now get in touch to say they’re really proud to come from Sunderland – we help each other when we can.

“Members of staff have got in touch to say how grateful they are, it means a lot to them.”

The clothing company collapsed into administration putting almost 2,900 jobs at risks.

The company’s 318 stores will remain open while a buyer is sought for the chain.