Contactless check-in for NHS staff at Dorset holiday park

Forest Edge has swapped holidays for health workers whilst it remains closed to visitors during the outbreak

FREE ACCOMMODATION for carers and NHS staff is being provided by a family-run parks group – with the added bonus of them being able to check in with no human contact.

Shorefield Holidays closed all its eight parks to visitors at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, including its top-rated Forest Edge Holiday Park in St Leonards, Dorset.

But here, the park group’s family owners thought its proximity to local hospitals would make it an ideal base for front-line health staff to stay closer to their place of work.

Initially, Shorefield offered the use of ten of its luxury holiday caravans at no cost to NHS personnel – and the take-up was almost instantaneous.

Online check-ins mean zero contact between NHS workers and park staff

In response, the company decided to open up all 35 of its available holiday caravans to staff at Forest Edge which is located near the Hurn Forest beauty spot.

They provide not just an extremely comfortable and convenient place to return when off-duty, but also an extra layer of protection against the spread of the virus.

That’s because NHS staff can check-in online to their accommodation with no need for one-to-one contact in the park’s reception building.

Sara Bertin, Shorefield’s financial director, said the family was delighted that its Dorset park was able to play a part in helping carers and other key staff during the present crisis:

“These are unprecedented times, and we all have a responsibility to consider not just ourselves but also those who are making sacrifices on our behalf,” she said.

“Some of those staying at Forest Edge are now able to avoid long and tiring journeys to and from their homes, while others are unable to stay with their families due to the pandemic.

“We have been greatly moved by the kind comments we have received – but in reality, it is us who owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all they are doing,” added Sara.

Among those sending his thanks to the park was Lee Stratton who works as a paramedic with the South Western Ambulance Service:

“I had nowhere to go, and Shorefield came forward and gave me somewhere to stay. I can not thank them enough for their kind-hearted gesture,” said Lee.

And carer Chloe Frias explained what the offer of help from Forest Edge meant to her:

“This superb free accommodation has meant that I can go to work with peace of mind from knowing that I am doing all I can to protect my family,” she said.

There is more information about Forest Edge Holiday Park and the other seven parks in the Shorefield group on the company’s website at

Holiday families will be welcomed back when possible, but meanwhile the park is open just to health workers