Hartlepool community’s amazing response after town business and hotel gave a bed to homeless

The Douglas Hotel, Grange Road Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID
The Douglas Hotel, Grange Road Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

A Hartlepool hotel was inundated with presents from the community after offering to give a bed to homeless people.

The Douglas Hotel in Grange Road teamed up with town business Build A Spa to offer some warmth and shelter to people who might otherwise have been out on the cold streets on Christmas Eve.

Owner of the Douglas Hotel Raqeeb Ramzan with a selection of donated Christmas gifts. Picture by FRANK REID

Owner of the Douglas Hotel Raqeeb Ramzan with a selection of donated Christmas gifts. Picture by FRANK REID

After the Mail and social media reported the goodwill gesture, the hotel was overwhelmed with gifts from kind-hearted people wishing to making the visitors’ stay extra special.

Clothes, sleeping bags, food and toiletries were among the many items given by the community.

There was certainly not enough room for them all under the hotel’s Christmas tree and virtually filed an entire room.

Raqeeb Ramzan, who owns The Doouglas Hotel, told the Mail: “The little room is full.

“It’s unbelievable. People have brought in clothing, sleeping bags, food stuff, cleaning things, vouchers; we have got all sorts.

“The community realised what we were doing and as word got around everyone appreciated our efforts and decided to make their own.

“It makes you feel good and proud at what you are doing and makes you want to do it more.”

The pile of presents were distributed among the hotel’s special guests on Christmas Eve.

Workers at Build A Spa in Brenda Road this year decided to forgo their usual staff Christmas party and use the money to put homeless people up in a hotel for the night.

The Douglas was the first hotel in town to accept the offer as Raqeeb had thought previously about doing something similar.

This year he was free to go ahead after buying the hotel earlier in the year.

Jack Griffiths, managing director of Build A Spa, earlier said: “I mentioned the idea to the lads and they were all happy to do it.

“Instead of putting the budget into a Christmas party we thought it could be used somewhere a little bit better.

“Everyone is coming together with it. We hope it will be an annual thing.”