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News > Alumni news > Andrew Denton (Class of 1992) Recognised in The Queen's Honours List Last Year

Andrew Denton (Class of 1992) Recognised in The Queen's Honours List Last Year

Andrew Denton (1986 -1992), was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List for his amazing work during lockdown supporting the NHS
4 Nov 2022
Written by Lucy Tipler
Alumni news
Andrew Denton, MBE
Andrew Denton, MBE

As a proud former TWGSB student, Andrew kindly responded to our call for good news to celebrate the achievements of our former pupils and show what sort of people the school helps them to develop into so as to inspire the next generation. 

Andrew attended TWGSB with his twin brother James from 1986 through to 1992 and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honour’s list for his amazing work during lockdown supporting the NHS.  He featured in many press reports at the time; the Harrogate Advertiser published the following article: 

Andrew Denton, Head of Communications, Content and Brand for Best Western Great Britain, has been recognised in the New Years Honours List for the work the group undertook in response to Covid-19 to support the NHS and help vulnerable people through the pandemic.

In March 2020, one week before the first national lockdown, the group of 300 hotels offered to support the NHS through the first wave of the pandemic by offering 16,000 rooms to take lower risk patients and free up emergency care beds.

That offer to support resulted in Best Western hotels becoming the first “field hospitals” in Britain since the Second World War as they swapped hotel guests for NHS patients working in partnership with NHS Trusts.

Andrew Denton, known as 'Dents' to his colleagues and Best Western members, was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List for his “vision and innovation” in turning hotels into hospitals and supporting the NHS through Covid-19.

In addition, Best Western Great Britain supported vulnerable people through the pandemic by providing safe places for victims of domestic abuse to isolate, and worked with national charities, local councils and city councils to give shelter to the homeless.

“Dents” was also awarded the MBE for “prioritising and highlighting the importance of mental health early in the pandemic”, by starting a national letter writing campaign, ‘A Wave With Words’, to help people struggling with isolation and loneliness in lockdown.

The campaign was delivered by the whole of the Best Western group of hotels and the central office team and supported isolated people at a time when physical contact was not possible.

Andrew said: “I’m hugely proud of all the work Best Western did during the pandemic to support the NHS and help vulnerable people.

"We made a decision really early on as a team that we wanted to try and help the country through the crisis if we could and its humbling to think that has been recognised at a national level.

"The MBE is a proud moment, not just for me, but for everyone at Best Western for everything we did at a local and national level to make a difference.”

Tim Rumney, CEO of Best Western Great Britain, added: “Dents has been an inspiration to his colleagues and our hotel members throughout the pandemic.

"His compassion, creativeness and dedication have given all of us something positive to focus on.

"He and the rest of our wonderful team and hoteliers have demonstrated the commitment we have to our communities and our customers and are we are truly delighted for him to receive this honour.”

The BBC reported: 

Andrew Denton, from Wetherby, a director at Best Western Hotels, helped turn hotels into hospitals during the pandemic.

He said he was "struggling to get his head around" the recognition, initially thinking it was his friends playing a prank on him.

"I didn't sleep for days after getting the letter," he said.

He plotted maps to work out which hotels near hospitals could help the NHS, offering 16,000 rooms to homeless charities and the emergency services.

He also wrote more than 100 letters to people he thought may be isolated during lockdowns, creating a letter writing campaign.

"It was an incredible achievement by everybody - and a team effort to make it happen.

"It was so nice to see you were touching the lives of children who were four, five, six years old, who were struggling with being home and couldn't see their friends.

"Then at the other end of the generation scale there was a lady who was 103 who was upset she couldn't go to the bridge club in her village.

"I just wanted to be someone who could help in some way," the 47-year-old added.

Andrew has received his invitation from Buckingham Palace this week and the investiture ceremony will happen on 31st January 2023 (Covid has meant long delays in investitures). 

Andrew has gone on to become a very successful key note speaker. The Hotel & Resort Innovation Expo says, " Andrew''s story inspires attendees to unlock their hidden potential and drive businesses beyond their limits. His fast-paced, lyrical delivery make Andrew a unique speaker and someone your delegates will never forget".

We are thrilled to hear this news, Andrew, and many congratulations from us all at TWGSB, you will be an inspiration to current pupils and recent leavers to do all they can to help others and we wish you continued success. 

If you have any news of interest to our alumni and to inspire the next generation please email it to: connect@twgsboys.kent.sch.uk or ltipler@twgsboys.kent.sch.uk

For the full stories please read more here:

https://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/news/people/new-year-honours-2022-wetherby-man-awarded-mbe-following-influential-work-during-covid-19-pandemic-3517170

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-59759826

 

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