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Office equipment has a new calling

27 Apr 2020 Brand, Sustainability

Rsz Furniture Eeas 2

Whitbread help the East of England Ambulance Service to extend their call centres with donation of 100 phones, 38 desks and 38 chairs helps’ increase call centre capacity

Office equipment formerly owned by Premier Inn has a potentially lifesaving new calling – after owner Whitbread donated it to the East of England Ambulance Service to help it cope with unprecedented call volumes.

Following the relocation of the Premier Inn Customer Contact Centre from Oakley House in Luton to its new home in Houghton Hall Business Park in Dunstable, the facilities team at Whitbread’s Head Office had a supply of office equipment, including 100 phones, that they were waiting to rehome. With the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team were made aware through their business contacts at Fujitsu that the East of England Ambulance Service were in need of additional equipment to expand their operations at their call centres. Their three call centres in Bedford, Norwich and Chelmsford required rapid expansion in order to cope with the amount of incoming calls from the local areas and had enlisted BT to help them source telephone equipment to get them up and running as quickly as possible. Huw Thomas, Head of Facilities across Whitbread Plc’s head office campus, got stuck in and collated all of the equipment that was left from the Contact Centre relocation. Arranging a man with a van and of course after a clean down and sanitise, the Facilities Team packed up a truck full of 100 phones, 38 desks, 38 chairs plus additional supporting equipment such as desk dividers and telephone switch parts. The equipment was delivered successfully and enabled the East of England Ambulance Service to add much needed capacity to their call centres, helping many more people.

Huw Thomas, Head of Facilities across Whitbread said: “We were really pleased that we could help in this way, quick thinking by one of our key partners enabled us to put to good use equipment that we no longer had need for. The Ambulance service are playing such a vital role in this difficult time and knowing that we have in some small way been able to help them to help even more people is something we are really proud of.”

Dorothy Hosein, Chief Executive East of England Ambulance Service said: “Our thanks go to Whitbread for providing additional equipment for our call centres. We are all working to ensure we continue to provide the best care possible to patients whilst supporting our staff at this time.

“In Norwich alone we have recruited an additional 100 staff to ensure that when our patients call the control room we have someone available to take their call. This would not have been possible without Whitbread’s help and we are all extremely grateful.”


For more information, please contact:

Natalie McConnon, PR Manager, Premier Inn and Restaurants on 07717 714885/ 

About Premier Inn

Premier Inn was named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for 2019 according to Which? With over 800 hotels and more than 76,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland, Premier Inn guests are never far from a great night’s sleep at fantastic value rates. Premier Inn hotels are in more locations than any other UK hotel brand for the ease and convenience of leisure and business travellers alike.   All Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, a luxurious Hypnos® bed, a choice of pillows, TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. A bar and restaurant is situated either on-site or next door to each hotel, offering a wide range of food and drink including a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast.   Across the estate, the average Trip Advisor score for Premier Inn hotels is 4.2. Premier Inn has been awarded the Best UK Family Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Best UK Hotel Group in the Silver Travel Awards and the Business In The Community Environmental Leadership Award. In 2019 Premier Inn was also named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for the fourth year in a row by Which?   Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the National Charity partner of Premier Inn and to date team members, guests and suppliers have reached the milestone of £10 million, which formed part of the funding towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, officially opened in January 2018. The next phase of the partnership will see Premier Inn guests and team members raising funds towards the new Great Ormond Street Hospital Sight and Sound Centre. The centre, due to open in 2020, will be the first dedicated medical facility for children with sight and hearing loss in the UK.   Outside of the UK, Premier Inn’s expansion plans are focused on Germany. Premier Inn currently has four hotels open and trading – in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. By the end of 2020, there will be at least 20 Premier Inn hotels running throughout Germany and there are almost 10,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in the secured pipeline.

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