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Luxury Lakes break for NHS key worker

Birkdale House

Birkdale House on the private Matson Ground Estate near Bowness-on-Windermere welcomed an extra special guest at the weekend.

Linda Singleton, a frontline NHS worker from Lancashire was nominated by daughter, Wendy to win a 2-night break in a #holidaysforgood campaign organised by sister travel companies, Sawday’s and Canopy & Stars.

Newly opened Birkdale House was one of more than 200 special places to stay to generously donate a complimentary break to the campaign.

Linda, a midwife at Royal Preston Hospital has worked continuously throughout the coronavirus pandemic supporting new mums in the maternity unit. She was joined on her 2-night break by husband, Tony, daughter, two granddaughters and one-year old long haired Patterdale terrier, Barney.

Linda and Tony Singleton

Speaking about her stay at Birkdale House, Linda said: “We spent a lovely September weekend at the fantastic Birkdale House and while we were only a small group – due to Covid restrictions – we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. There’s a real ‘wow’ factor at the first sight of the main building and gardens and it feels like you are transported back in time to a much grander era.

“The superb basement games room adds to the family atmosphere and provides a great lounging area, but the fully equipped kitchen was wasted on us as the huge fire pit in the garden was too good an opportunity to miss! We can only hope that one day we can return with a bigger family group and really do the place justice.”

Birkdale House has five double bedrooms and Linda’s granddaughters were excited to have a large bedroom each. The family enjoyed walks into Bowness on Windermere as well as around the spacious private gardens with the excitable Barney.

The #holidaysforgood campaign was not the first time the Matson Ground Estate Company has supported key workers. At the start of the pandemic, the company opened up their collection of five cottages in Windermere to key NHS workers who had to shield away from their own homes and families.

Rachael Thomas, Managing Director at Matson Ground Estate Company, said: “Back in March when our holiday cottages had to close, we very quickly realised we could offer them up to the people who needed them most – those working round the clock to keep everyone else safe.

“When we were approached by Sawday’s to join their campaign and help reward NHS workers for their efforts, it seemed like a natural thing to do. It was lovely to meet Linda and her family and see how much they were looking forward to their stay at Birkdale House.”

Linda was just one of more than 700 NHS workers to benefit from the Sawday’s and Canopy & Stars campaign, which also saw an additional £25,000 worth of Canopy & Stars vouchers being given away to an extra 500 key workers. Recipients were chosen at random from almost 8,000 nominations.

“We wanted to help give as many people as we could the opportunity of a restorative escape”, added Mike Bevens, Managing Director of Sawday’s and Canopy & Stars. “The frontline staff of the NHS have been risking their own lives every day to save those of others and are the true heroes of the pandemic.”

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