Simplyowners.net, based in Mansfield, brings independent holiday homeowners and holidaymakers together and has launched an NHS rainbow scheme for owners to provide free or heavily discounted holidays to NHS and social care workers.
Simply Owners has been overwhelmed with the response of its community of owners, with hundreds of owners providing more than 10,000 individual free and discounted stays. Many more owners have expressed interest and are keen to add holidays once the clarity of easing lockdown and travel restrictions are understood.
The idea came about when Tim Parkes, owner of Simply Owners Ltd, was on lockdown and being shielded due to a compromised health situation. Aggressive chemotherapy 40 years ago, for metastatic cancer, has left Tim requiring lifelong support from the NHS including many ICU stays and ongoing care.
Tim’s wife, a retired nurse, wanted to volunteer but could not because of the risk to Tim’s health. Tim wanted to help too: "I just kept seeing frontline workers struggling and felt useless. I thought NHS staff will need a break when this is all over and maybe the owners of holiday rental properties on our site might be willing to offer them that break."
Simply Owners has been stunned at the response, not only the generosity of owners but the messages of support for the NHS.
"I am truly humbled with some of the stories our owners have sent in response to this initiative, stating why they love the NHS so much," said Tim.
One holiday homeowner, Charles Rising, is accommodating a paramedic, Sarah, in his Tideswell cottage free of charge indefinitely until the pandemic is over. Sarah is unable to stay at home because her asthmatic mother is at high risk of catching COVID-19.
Charles said: "It’s very convenient for her being a short drive from Buxton hospital. Sarah has told me she is enjoying staying there. Like Tim, the NHS has saved my life on at least two occasions, so I am pleased to do something in return. What Simply Owners has orchestrated is a great idea and I’m incredibly happy to participate."
Highlights of the scheme so far include:
- Two free weeks at a villa close to Disney World Florida in the 2021 school summer holidays.
- More than 3,000 UK breaks, including free weekends at a three-bedroom lodge in Norfolk and a free weekend in a bungalow in Padstow, with a hot tub.
- Eighty weeks of free and discounted holidays have been added in Florida.
- In Spain, more than 3,000 holidays have been added including a free week in a stunning four-bedroom villa on the Costa del Sol.
- A thousand holidays have been added in France, with two free weeks in a farmhouse in the wine regions of Bordeaux and free stays in ski apartments in the alps. Numerous stays have been added across a variety of destinations to the NHS discount scheme.
Numerous stays have been added, resulting in free holidays across the full range of destinations Simply Owners cater for.
Most holiday rental owners on Simply Owners are independent owners, running their holiday home in a location they fell in love with and want to share with other people.
Tim is amazed and humbled as more and more owners are joining the scheme. "The Rainbow scheme makes me so proud, as it epitomises what we as a family business want to stand for.
"The holiday rental sector is dominated by large investment-backed organisations that often do not have both the holidaymakers and holiday-home owners' best interests at heart.
"Simply Owners enables holidaymakers to book directly with owners with no booking fees, while still providing fair terms to owners. Now we are also excited to be able to help get NHS and care staff the well-earned breaks they deserve after this crisis."
About Simply Owners
Simply Owners provides holidaymakers direct access to thousands of verified holiday rentals across a variety of destinations, all with no booking fees.
Discounted and free holidays for NHS and Social Care workers can be found by contacting participating holiday-home owners directly via www.simplyowners.net.