Manager, Dining In
Alfie has worked at Center Parcs for 11 years. His team will be coordinating all of the takeaway deliveries when the village reopens on Monday.
“It’s so good to be back at work – it’s another sign that some normality is coming back into our lives. I was really excited to come back – while I’ve been off, we’ve been kept updated on all the changes that have been happening, so I was looking forward to seeing them for myself. I think our regular guests will really appreciate them – there are some bigger changes and some smaller, but it will give people who visit us every year some new things to spot.
“At the moment, we’re checking we’ve got everything we need in terms of stock and we’re also looking at plans for the next few weeks. In preparation for reopening, we’ve increased our team of delivery drivers, so we’ve got people doing bike tests and generally getting used to the new electric scooters. Our delivery team is made up of restaurant employees who volunteered to come back to work, rather than remaining on furlough for a few more weeks. It’s nice to be getting the whole team back again.”
Hannah previously worked in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise and now works as part of the team at The Boathouse. She has worked at Center Parcs for six years.
“It’s definitely strange to be back after so long, but it’s a nice feeling. A lot has changed and it’s great to see that in person – we’ve had a lot of changes here at The Boathouse!
“I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning and getting the boats, pedalos, canoes and kayaks ready to welcome our guests back. We’ve also had our jetty moved closer to The Boathouse, so I’ve been working with managers to create new ways of working for our team. While they obviously know the operations inside out, it’s great to be able to provide some perspective as someone doing the job every day.
“Right now, the village feels like a bit of a ghost town! It’s definitely strange being here without any guests and I’m really looking forward to seeing all those happy faces again!”
Assistant Manager, Cycle Centre
Emily has worked at Center Parcs for 13 years – she moved to the Cycle Centre in 2020.
“Coming back to work again was difficult – it was tough to leave my son after five months at home with him but by the end of the first day, I was glad to be back and now it feels like I’ve never been away. Since we came back, our team has serviced every single bike at Sherwood Forest – that’s a total of 2,798 bikes!
“I can’t wait for our guests to return – we’re almost ready for them and we’re just putting the finishing touches in place this week.”
Senior Shift Manager, Guest Services
Grant has worked at Center Parcs for 11 years. He previously worked in the Contact Centre before joining the team at Sherwood Forest.
“After the village closed in October, I continued working to help our Contact Centre team with processing re-bookings, cancellations and refunds – I previously worked in that team, so it was great to be able to help them out. Since I came back to work in March, we’ve been getting our Guest Services building and the Arrivals Lodge ready to welcome our guests back. Most recently, we had to test every computer in the Arrivals Lodge – they’ve been off for almost six months now and they’re a vital part of the checking in process!
“The rest of our team are actually coming back just a few days before we reopen, so we’ll be welcoming them back with some socially distanced team building and updated training, ready to get straight back into work from Monday!
“We used to joke that if we were closed for a month, we could get so many tasks done – we’ve definitely used this time wisely and guests will see some great changes when they visit right from the moment they arrive, with the newly resurfaced drive, through to the amazing refurbishment in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise.
“I’ve really missed doing my job over the last few months. Our team help people make memories and look after our guests and we all just love the part we play in that. I’ve missed helping people the most – I can’t wait to have our guests back!”
Team Leader, Retail
Kailey started her Center Parcs career working for four hours per week on the checkouts in 2013. She’s now a team leader in the retail department, having worked her way up over the years.
“I was so grateful to be back at work – I was just waiting for that phone call! It’s so nice to see my colleagues’ friendly faces again and to see people from outside my own department as well. It’s just another step towards some normality.
“Since I returned, I’ve been setting up displays, ordering new stock, cleaning and moving things round on the shelves. I’m probably walking 19,000 steps a day but I’m just so excited to welcome our guests back.
“I love seeing our guests enjoying themselves on their break and knowing that we play a part in that. After the year we’ve all had, I think we’re all ready for a break with our loved ones and I can’t wait to help families make more special memories together.”
Instructor, Action Challenge
Jon has worked at Center Parcs for nine years, in a range of roles.
“After a few days of being back at work, it was like I’d never been away! The team have been great at staying in touch and my first day back was about reconnecting with my colleagues, completing new training, including COVID-19 specific training, and getting the chance to see all the amazing changes that have happened while we’ve been closed.
“We’ve been working hard to get the Action Challenge area looking amazing for welcoming our first guests back. We also have a big role to play in keeping people safe so, alongside an external company, we’ve been inspecting the Aerial Adventure and Tree Trekking courses and testing all of the equipment, which involves physically going around the course. We’ve also got some new members of the team, so I’ve been helping with their training, acting as a guest so that they can get used to guiding people around the courses.
“It’s amazing to have our guests back – it’s just not the same environment without them.”