Wrexham holiday property owner offers free week away to nurses who ‘deserve more’
A FORMER Wrexham FC director is giving away free holidays to nurses who “deserve more” after those in England were offered a one per cent pay rise.
Stephen Mackreth, 70, said he has heard first-hand accounts of the challenges faced by frontline staff at Wrexham Maelor Hospital during the pandemic as his daughter-in-law works at the high dependency unit.
Having played at full-back for Wrexham FC in the 60s and stood as director from 1990 to 2002, Mr Mackreth said he and his family were inspired by the recent club takeover by Holywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to do something extra for his community.
The holiday properties by Macketh Lettings include a 400-year-old farmhouse, beachside dormbungalow, converted barn and 200-year-old cottage, which are situated in Porth Colmon, near Abersoch. They feature hot tubs and picturesque views of the peninsula beaches, and sit by a small harbour owned by Mr Macketh which is populated by lobster and crab fishermen.
“As a family we thought it would be a nice gesture to give nurses the opportunity after the year they have had,” said Mr Macketh. “It is often on the news that everybody is playing games by offering a one per cent pay rise; I think they should earn a lot more. They have worked so hard and kept the country going.
“They deserve more than one per cent. It is taking the Michael.”
Mr Mackreth, dad-of-two, said he is currently in contact with Wrexham Maelor Hospital to organise the administration of holiday offers among frontline staff, according to his wishes. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was approached for comment.
“I want the holidays to go to people that were really on the frontline and we want to make sure it goes to the right people,” he said.
“My daughter-in-law has worked in high dependency unit and she is either talking to families to confirm everything is OK and they can walk out of the hospital, or then preparing to tell relatives that the end is near.
“The last year has been so terrible and hospitals have been like a warzone.”
Mr Macketh, who owns properties in Wrexham, as well as abroad in Dubai, Morocco and Cape Verde, said he lost two of his tenants at the start of the pandemic, one of whom was the late Andy Treble, a hospital theatre assistant who came out of retirement to help the pandemic response.
As well as his personal connection to tragedies experienced during the pandemic over the last year, Mr Macketh said his attachment to the recent highs of Wrexham FC had inspired his holiday venture.
“What spurred it on a bit is two guys coming over from Los Angeles and doing a lot for the community despite being far away, giving out like no tomorrow,” he said.
“They have kick-started a bit of good feeling in Wrexham, and my family and I thought, ‘let’s do something and help people out’.
“As you get older you start to think we should be helping people out more.”
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