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Rob Armstrong, director of leading recruitment agency; MTrec Recruitment and Newcastle's fastest growing taxi firm, LA Taxis, wondered what happened to unclaimed lost property left in Newcastle's hotel rooms. He discovered that much of it was simply disposed of despite being in good condition and valuable.
After talking to the Hilton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Mr. Armstrong has now arranged for all of the hotel's unclaimed lost property items to be regularly donated to St Oswald's Hospice charity shops all across the region.
Items currently due to be donated include training shoes, boots, phone chargers, handbags and clothes of all shapes and sizes. In addition, the hotel is carrying out an upgrade on their bedrooms meaning that bed throws have become surplus to requirements and these too will find their way into the charity shops.
Mr. Armstrong chose St Oswald's because of the work they did looking after a close friend who developed terminal cancer.
"I was visiting my friend every day and saw at first hand how well he was cared for. People don't realise what work goes into caring for someone who is in the later stages of their life. The charity needs to raise over £10 million per year just to keep going. Over £6.5 million of their funding comes through charitable giving and that's why it is important to help them whenever we can. My family have always supported St Oswald's and my wife has completed the Great North run on their behalf too."
Mr. Armstrong believes that his idea could be replicated with other hotels in the region and he is currently in talks to grow the scheme further.
General Manger at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, Martin Robinson believes that as well as helping the charity, the new scheme is good for the environment too.
"We are always looking at ways to be more environmentally friendly here at Hilton and reducing waste is a major part of our green agenda. Previously these items would have gone to landfill and now they are going to be raising money to help those in need," he said.
Andrew Moir, Head of Retail at St Oswald's said: "We're very excited that Hilton Newcastle-Gateshead have implemented Rob's fantastic idea. We rely on donations like these from our local community to help us raise £6.5million each year to run our care services. We're also very keen to work alongside our local community to reduce landfill waste and protect our environment, and this scheme allows us to do just this. Without the support of people like Rob, MTrec Recruitment and Hilton Newcastle-Gateshead we wouldn't be able to continue providing care for North East families at a time when they need it most."