Room to Reward – what is it and could anyone in your setting be a “hidden hero”? (Guest post)

We all know a Hidden Hero – people who do so much, for so many and ask for nothing in return. All over the country, there are millions of people making a difference and having a positive impact on the lives of those in need. In a world that often seems overly negative, cynical and selfish, these are the people we should celebrate. These are the people Room to Reward was created to say ‘thank you’ to.

So, who are – or what is – Room to Reward?

We are a unique volunteer recognition charity created to give a little something back to those who do so much for others. Our hotel partners donate their anticipated unsold rooms to the scheme, our charity partners nominate their special staff and volunteers for a break – we have the absolute pleasure of making it happen!

How it Works

Room to Reward focus on giving unsold hotel rooms to our “Hidden Heroes”

We invite our charity partners to nominate their ‘Hidden Heroes’ – staff or volunteers who consistently go above and beyond in their dedication and commitment to the charity – to enjoy a complimentary short break. We offer:


  • A one or two-night break
  • Bed and breakfast
  • A choice of over 150 hotels located all over the U.K.


Most importantly, we are able to offer these breaks at absolutely no cost to the charities or the Hidden Heroes (with the exception of travel). Room to Reward runs on the generosity of our hotel partners who donate rooms in periods when they know they will not be at maximum capacity.

How do you become a charity partner?

If your school or alternative provision is a registered charity, or if you work alongside any registered charities, then you could potentially become a Room to Reward partner. For more information, contact Joe Langtree on or Katy Hamer on

The Story so Far

Our roots lie in the hospitality industry. In 2015, Nic Roach – Chairman of the Nicholas James Group and owner of Harbour Hotels – founded the charity. Every night of the week, approximately 140,000 hotel rooms across the U.K are unsold. Over the course of a year, this equates to around £5 billion of wasted assets. Nic’s idea was to take these empty rooms and put them to great use in a meaningful way.


We are proud of – and extremely grateful for – the response to our initiative from both the charity and hospitality sectors. From humble beginnings, we have grown to include hotels right across the country. There’s something for everyone with an R2R break – city centre properties, luxury spas, castles in the countryside, rooms overlooking the beach…

The Hidden Heroes

Charity volunteers can benefit from a free mini break as part of this wonderful scheme

In March 2018, we had the pleasure and privilege of saying ‘thank you’ to the 200th Hidden Hero to be nominated through Room to Reward. The nominations we receive are compelling, moving and inspiring. They show just how many ordinary people there are out there doing extraordinary things to make the world a better place.


People like Margaret, who 60 years ago helped found The League of Friends of Bridgnorth Hospital and has been a vital part of keeping the community hospital going ever since. Or Alan and Beryl, who have helped more than 400 children in Uganda get an education that they otherwise would have missed out on. Or Mandy Garford of the National Autistic Society – close friends of R2R – whose amazing work saw her named as the ‘Most Inspirational Volunteer’ at the recent Autism Professional Awards. It was our pleasure to support the awards with a week’s holiday in Mudeford – donated by one of our fabulous supporters – for Mandy and family.


Mark Lever, CEO of the National Autistic Society speaking about Room to Reward at this year’s Autism Professionals Awards, proudly sponsored by Axcis

The Future

Over 220 Hidden Heroes have now been nominated to Room to Reward. We know that there are many, many more to go. We are lucky to be able to read and hear amazing stories every day, and luckier still to be able to give a little something back to the people behind them.



Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area, so if you need work, why not register now? Alternatively, if you are a school or alternative provision in need of SEND recruitment help, why not contact us and find out how we can help you today?

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