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Highland businesswoman receives award from Prime Minister for holiday giveaway for NHS staff

Janet Turnbull
Janet Turnbull

The Prime Minister has praised a Highland businesswoman who launched a campaign to give NHS staff the chance to win a free holiday after lockdown ends.

The Big Break Giveaway for NHS Scotland, which runs until July 30, has been organised by Janet Turnbull who runs the private rentals business Loch Ness Lettings.

The initiative has earned Ms Turnbull a Points of Light award which is given by the Prime Minister to outstanding individual volunteers every week day.

In all, 67 accommodation providers across Scotland have offered 73 breaks at B&Bs, self-catering cottages, bunkhouses and luxury glamping facilities, as well as use of campervans and motorhomes. Ms Turnbull has also offered seven nights’ accommodation at her apartment in Tenerife. The offers extend at least for six months after lockdown is lifted.

To date there have been 130,000 entries. To win, anyone working in the NHS can search for Big Break Giveaway for NHS Scotland on the Facebook page by July 30 and follow the instructions.  Winners will be chosen randomly at 5pm the next day.

Ms Turnbull said she was inspired to start the initiative by the Clap For Our Carers and to thank NHS workers for the dedication during the pandemic by allowing them to get away for a break when the lockdown is over.

She said she was delighted with the response from accommodation providers who supported the idea.

In a personal letter, Boris Johnson told her: “I was inspired to hear how you have reimagined your lettings business to give restorative breaks to the extraordinary men and women of our wonderful NHS.

“From the shores of Loch Ness to the beaches of Tenerife, the holidays you and others have donated are a fantastic way of caring for those who have cared so deeply for us.”

Ms Turnbull said: “I am delighted to be recognised for the work involved but it would be very remiss of me not to acknowledge the generosity of all the prize providers. (67 individuals throughout Scotland providing 73 free breaks) and the support of Isabel Lewis who has been working alongside me.

“Entrants to the giveaway have to comment ‘YAS’ standing for ‘You’re a Star’ as their way of thanking individuals for their donation, so to be given a Points of Light award is the icing on the cake for everyone involved. I am proud to receive the award which I will share with all our stars.”

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