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Stormtrooper costume, six bridesmaids dresses and a trumpet: Lost and Found at Travelodge’s in Wales

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A Stormtrooper costume, a trumpet, a marriage certificate, six Bridesmaid dresses and a Galleon made of matchsticks make the 2021 Travelodge Lost & Found audit for Wales.

Where would you find a Stormtrooper costume, a trumpet, a marriage certificate, six Bridesmaid dresses and a Galleon made of matchsticks? Where else but Travelodge’s Lost & Found offices in Wales!           

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Today, the UK’s first budget hotel chain, Travelodge, has revealed some of the interesting items left behind in its 582 hotels over the last 12 months incorporating its 26 hotels in Wales. With millions of people annually staying in a Travelodge hotel across the length and breadth of the UK, detailed below are some of the unusual treasures that have been left behind in Welsh properties: 

  • A lucky Buddha diamond necklace
  • A stained glass door
  • A 6ft flower arch made from white roses
  • A marriage certificate 
  • A family of garden gnomes
  • A collection of Ronald Dahl books
  • A Christmas village made of lego
  • A Chewbacca costume
  • A suitcase full of business receipts 
  • A vintage pocket watch
  • A Bridegroom’s top hat
  • A set of four palm trees
  • A Japanese parasol
  • A surfboard
  • A work contract
  • A Louis Vuitton dog carrier

With the Staycation being a top holiday choice in 2021, Travelodge hotel staff have reported a significant rise in items being left behind in their hotels over the last 12 months.  Some of the interesting finds include a business plan left behind in Cardiff M4 Travelodge, a set of four palm trees abandoned in Swansea Travelodge and a Christmas village made of Lego, which a customer forgot in Bridgend Pencoed Travelodge.

The housekeeping team at Swansea Central Travelodge were pleasantly surprised when they entered a room to be greeted by a 6ft flower arch made of white roses sitting on the bed, while a customer staying at the Llanelli Central Travelodge left behind his prized collection of garden gnomes.  A Louis Vuitton dog carrier was also left behind in Rhyl Seafront Travelodge.

The 2021 Travelodge Lost & Found audit has also revealed a growing trend of wedding-related items being left behind by brides, grooms and wedding guests across the company’s hotels.  A newlywed couple staying at Swansea M4 Travelodge were in such a rush to get to the airport to catch their honeymoon flight to Dubai that they left behind their wedding certificate!

A bridesmaid staying at Cardiff Llandeyrn Travelodge had the important job of taking six bridesmaid dresses to the wedding venue, due to being too focused on her ‘bad hair day’. Luckily, the hotel manager managed to get them to the wedding on time for the vital ceremony. 

A forgetful groom staying at Bridgend Pencoed Travelodge was in deep trouble with his future wife when he forgot to complete his bespoke wedding outfit with the Top Hat he’d left behind in the hotel. Luckily, the hotel team, who love a challenge, stepped in and got the hat to the church in time!

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With more road warriors staying at Travelodge hotels than ever before, the hotel chain has seen a rise in items being left behind by workers across all sectors. This includes a suitcase of receipts left behind in Llanelli Crosshands Travelodge Plus, a work contract forgotten at Halkyn Travelodge and a portfolio of shop front designs being left at Leeds Central Travelodge.         

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said: “In 2021, following Freedom Day, we welcomed back millions of customers to our 582 UK Travelodge hotels including our 26 hotels in Wales and we saw a significant increase in bookings. This has led to a range of interesting items being left behind by our customers across our UK hotels. This year’s Lost & Found audit includes a rise in holiday themed items, wedding props, precious sentimental items, smart gadgets and beloved pets.   This includes a Stormtrooper costume, a trumpet, a marriage certificate, six Bridesmaid dresses and a Galleon made of matchsticks.

“When it comes to why so many of our customers forget their treasured items, it’s basically due to us all being time poor, juggling multiple tasks and being in a hurry to get from A to B. In the rush, valuable possessions are easily forgotten.”

Listed below are the top 30 interesting items left behind at some of Travelodge’s 26 hotels in Wales in 2021

ItemTravelodge Hotel
A Stormtrooper costumeCardiff Travelodge
A magician’s black book of tricksCardiff Central Queen Street Travelodge
A trumpetCardiff Airport Travelodge
A galleon made of matchsticksCardiff Atlantic Wharf Travelodge
Six bridesmaid dresses Cardiff Llandeyrn Travelodge
A business plan Cardiff M4 Travelodge
A pop-up tuck shop     Cardiff Travelodge
A collection of Christmas jumpers Cardiff Whitchurch Travelodge
A lucky Buddha diamond necklaceCaerphilly Travelodge
A stained glass doorNewport Central Travelodge
A 6ft flower arch made from white rosesSwansea Central Travelodge
A marriage certificate Swansea M4 Travelodge
A family of garden gnomesLlanelli Central Travelodge
A collection of Ronald Dahl booksLlanelli Crosshands Travelodge
A Christmas village made of LegoBridgend Pencoed Travelodge
A Chewbacca costumeLlanelli Central Travelodge
A suitcase full of business receipts Llanelli Crosshands Travelodge
A vintage pocket watchSwansea M4 Travelodge
A Bridegroom’s top hatBridgend Pencoed Travelodge
A set of four palm treesSwansea Travelodge
A Japanese parasolRhyl Seafront Travelodge
A surfboardColwyn Bay Travelodge
A work contractHalkyn Travelodge
A Louis Vuitton dog carrierRhyl Seafront Travelodge
A cuckoo clockLlanudno Travelodge
A jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagneRhyl Seafront Travelodge
A portable beach hut Bangor Travelodge
A mini jukeboxHalkyn Travelodge
A Victorian dolls houseColwyn Bay Travelodge
A pearl necklace that was a wedding gift 50 years agoRhyl Seafront Travelodge

Listed below are the top ten most popular items left behind in Travelodge hotels during 2021:

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  • Chargers for mobile phones, smart devices, kindles and laptops
  • Mobile phones, tablets and Kindles 
  • Books
  • Teddy Bears
  • Toiletry bags with contents
  • Jewellery
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Business papers / notebooks / presentations  
  • Gifts / presents

All items left behind in Travelodge hotels which have not been claimed within three months are donated to the local British Heart Foundation Charity Shops, Travelodge’s nominated charity partner.

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Technology

£67k contract win with leading power tools specialists for Swansea’s Uplands Communications

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Uplands Communications is celebrating a major contract win to the tune of £67k, having closed a deal with a division of Techtronic Industries EMEA Ltd.

The deal sees the Swansea-headquartered telephony specialists supply connectivity for more than 130 users.

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Techtronic owns brands including Ryobi, Milwaukee and AEG. The company enjoyed record 2021 worldwide sales of US$13.2 billion and has more than 51,000 employees.

Paul Hooper, MD of Uplands Communications, which is based in Swansea, said: “We are pleased to forge a new partnership with Techtronic Industries EMEA Ltd, a leaders in its field which is committed to ensuring its customers receive the best experience whenever they interact with the business.

“The past two years have been challenging for businesses across all industries, including for telephony and communications, and, of course for construction and for their supply chain colleagues.

“However, we are seeing, across the board, companies becoming increasingly aware of the need to make sure their communications are in the best shape possible and are modern and fit for purpose.

“The pandemic has brought about a sea-change in the way consumers and businesses interact with each other. Carefully-tailored telephone and communications solutions are more essential than ever if businesses want to thrive.”

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Natasha Russell, Financial Accountant at Techtronic said: “We operate a multi-million pound operation across a range of products and sites and we deal with a broad customer base – both commercial and domestic.

“The solution we sought from Uplands will give us a more seamless billing functionality and smoother processes, as well as more robust day-to-day support. We are pleased to enter into an agreement with Uplands Communications and we look forward to our ongoing relationship with them.”

Uplands Communications, based at Swansea Enterprise Park, is a leading managed services company delivering flexible voice, data and mobile communications.

The firm, which has its HQ in Swansea and an office in Somerset, specialises in independent network management and providing bespoke, converged solutions that aren’t tied to technology and supplier.

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Money

64% of Wales employees set to leave due to cost of living

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couple talking while moving in new apartment

During the biggest cost-of-living crises most people will have ever experienced, only 6% of employees in Wales believe their employer is doing enough to support them through the crisis.

Even though staggering 72% believe their employer has a responsibility to support them through the current climate.

That’s according to new research from Blackhawk Network, which says that according to employees, employee benefits are no longer just added incentives, they are now a way for employers to support their staff.

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It says it’s now essential employers are informed on what employees want and ultimately need from benefits schemes to help guide them through the cost-of-living crisis.

Other key findings in Wales show 94% of employers agree that they have a duty to support their employees as the cost-of-living rises, with 79% of employees saying employee benefits play, or could play, an important role in improving the cost-of-living 

Almost two thirds (64%) would leave their current job in order to find an opportunity that provides better financial support during the current cost-of-living crisis. 

The findings come from research conducted by Blackhawk Network in conjunction with Sapio, to support the launch of its new Blackhawk Network Extras Benefits Platform.

Workplace benefits are hot property at a time of crisis  

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According to the UK-wide data, 85% of employers agree that they have a duty to support their employees as the cost-of-living rises. While raising wages might seem a simple fix, businesses are also impacted by rising costs and inflation making pay increases unviable. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing they can do to help. 83% of employees agree that workplace benefits play an important role in helping to balance finances as the cost-of-living continues to rise; and 95% of employers agree.

It is telling that almost a quarter (24%) of employees admit they’ve already used their benefits package more during the cost-of-living. In addition, almost three quarters (73%) of employer’s state that prospective employees are looking for employee benefits as part of the solution to the crisis.  

Employers must dial-up on support to have real impact  

The report says that dialling-up cost-of-living support through employee benefits is a must when talent is at risk. For example, salary sacrifice, where employees are offered the option to pay for services or products from their salary before they receive it to reduce tax, can be found with offers such as Cyclescheme, on technology or gym memberships, to save money that would otherwise eat into pay. However, there are still barriers to overcome.

When employees were asked what the term ‘salary sacrifice’ meant, almost three quarters (73%) admitted they did not fully understand it, including 18% who had not idea at all. In contrast, to almost all employers (98%) believing employees understand it to some degree. There is a clear disconnect between the employer and the employee, yet salary sacrifice can save employees money and help in mitigating the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. 

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If employers want to support employees, they need to make information about benefits, like salary sacrifice, more accessible and digestible to prove that it can have a real-life impact on their current financial situation by making their pay go further.

Over half (53%) of employees say they would be more likely to use salary sacrifice schemes if they had a better understanding of how they work. But this is an issue that only employers can fix. Better communication is essential to close the perception gap on employee benefits to be the support employees want and need during the cost-of-living crisis. 

Chris Ronald, VP EMEA Incentives & Operations at Blackhawk Network said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that employers have a vital role to play supporting their employees during the cost-of-living crisis. But the rising costs also mean that businesses are unable to offer blanket wage increases.

“Our research takes an in-depth look into the current state of employee benefits and the perceptions of the employees who are in a position to use them. With the release of this research, we hope to give businesses the tools they need to improve their benefit packages so they continue to support staff throughout the crisis.” 

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Science

Welsh insulation company partners with Swansea University to explore capturing carbon emissions

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Brigend-based insulation company ROCKWOOL Ltd. has announced it is partnering with the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University to research the capture of carbon dioxide.

Researchers are aiming to develop new carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies that can assist Wales and the UK achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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Researchers at ESRI have been working on a process called Pressure Swing Adsorption to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases. To date, this has been shown to work under laboratory conditions and so the next step is to investigate how it works in a real life industrial process.

Over the next 12 months, researchers will be experimenting with different adsorbent materials and operating conditions to determine the most effective method for removing carbon dioxide. Isolating carbon dioxide from a mixed gas stream is an important step in developing opportunities for use or long term storage.

Darryl Matthews, Managing Director of ROCKWOOL Ltd, said: “Alongside ROCKWOOL Ltd.’s membership of the South Wales Industrial Cluster, I am delighted we’re partnering with Swansea University to pilot new technology designed to capture CO2 emissions and are excited about its potential in supporting the drive to Net Zero.”

The demonstration unit is being developed as part of the £11.5m Reducing Industrial Carbon Emissions (RICE) project which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and is aimed at the deployment of industrial scale demonstrations of new technology.

The carbon capture demonstration unit at Swansea University (Image: Swansea University)

Darryl continued: “Taking these important steps to understand how we can develop CCUS technology further is another important piece of the decarbonisation puzzle for us as a business. The ROCKWOOL Group has long been committed to operating sustainably and in December 2020, ROCKWOOL announced commitments to accelerate the decarbonisation of our business, with specific long-term targets verified and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.”

Professor Andrew Barron the Principal Investigator of the RICE project summarized the achievement, “with 2050 arriving fast, the time for research is over, it is imperative to get new technology onto industrial sites in order to demonstrate viability. Partners such as ROCKWOOL are vital in achieving this goal.”

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In 2020 the ROCKWOOL Group announced ambitious, science based global decarbonisation targets that have been verified and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The targets, which supplement existing sustainability goals, amount to an ambitious one third reduction of ROCKWOOL’s lifecycle (Scope 1, 2 and 3) greenhouse gas emissions by 2034 while at the same time continuing the reduce the carbon intensity of production.

These commitments build on ROCKWOOL’s existing status as a net carbon negative company, in that over the lifetime of its use, the building insulation ROCKWOOL sold in 2021 will save 100 times the carbon emitted in its production.

Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “These are the partnerships that will drive a stronger, greener Welsh economy. Putting world class expertise into practice is critical to our journey to net zero and this work means Bridgend will play a leading role in these exciting developments. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the project through the European Regional Development Fund.”

(Lead image: ROCKWOOL)

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