Holiday homes market leader Willerby is celebrating the incredible loyalty of its workforce as more than 200 staff have clocked up 10 years’ service or more.
Almost a fifth of Willerby’s 1,100-strong workforce have received recognition for their loyalty and commitment to the business, ranging from 10 years to more than four decades of service.
The employees’ combined milestones add up to an astonishing total of more than 4,000 years of collective dedication to Hull-based Willerby.
The number of long serving employees reflects the family culture which is one of the greatest strengths of the Hull-based business. As well as having so many employees with decades of history with the company, family connections are common, creating a togetherness in the workforce that is a hallmark of the business.
During a series of long-serving awards ceremonies, Willerby CEO Peter Munk congratulated and thanked the long servers for their admirable dedication.
One colleague, Ian Wilson, has clocked up almost 44 years’ service after starting his Willerby career as a 16-year-old apprentice cabinet maker in 1978. He spent 20 years in the cabinet shop before progressing to his current role of prototype joiner.
Ian, 59, said: “I’ve seen so many changes over the years and the products, machinery and processes have all moved on significantly.
“Willerby is a great company to work for and I love the diversity of the job. I work with good people and it’s nice to be recognised for long service alongside so many other colleagues.
“This used to be seen as quite a transient industry and was often associated with seasonal work, but that’s not the case now, and it says a lot for Willerby that so many people have stayed with the company for so long.”
The long servers recognised by Willerby also include sales administration lead Kerry Anderson and her father Terry Anderson, an aftersales coordinator. Kerry has notched up 19 years’ service in two spells at the company while Terry has achieved 16 years.
Kerry, 35, said: “I like working at Willerby because we’re a family and it’s nice to achieve this milestone alongside my dad. I hope to stay here for many more years to come. Willerby is a good company to work for and I feel valued.”
The most recent long service awards include all Willerby staff who reached their milestones up to the end of December 2021 and the recognition scheme is set to continue in the years ahead.
A total of 86 employees have reached 10 years’ service; 40 have achieved 15 years; 51 are celebrating 20 years; 22 are marking 25 years; 25 have clocked up 30 years; and eight have remained with the company for 35 years. Ian is the only colleague to achieve more than 40 years’ service to date.
All the long-serving workers received certificates and a bottle of fizz for reaching their career milestones. Employees who have achieved 10 or 15 years’ service or more also received a voucher, while staff who have achieved 20 years or more received a loyalty bonus, which will be repeated for every additional five years they remain at Willerby.
Susan Pender, head of people at Willerby, said: “We’re really proud to have so many employees who have achieved long service awards and we feel it’s important to recognise these achievements.
“We truly value their commitment, skills, knowledge and expertise and we want them to know that their loyalty does not go unnoticed.
“Their commitment has helped to shape Willerby and make us what we are today. We congratulate them all on reaching these long service milestones and thank them for their dedication.”
As well as having so many long-serving employees, Willerby is also committed to developing a new pipeline of talent as the business grows and responds to the huge demand for high-quality holiday homes and the increasing popularity of staycations.
In its latest entry-level recruitment, Willerby has created 30 new opportunities for young people in the biggest intake of apprentices in the company’s 75-year history.
Congratulating employees who have received their long service accolades, Willerby CEO Peter Munk said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have so many staff with such a wealth of experience in the business.
“However, it’s equally wonderful to have great new talent coming through and seeing our experienced colleagues passing on their skills and knowledge to the younger generation.
“Their commitment and loyalty to Willerby should be rewarded and celebrated and we’re delighted they’ve chosen to grow and develop their careers here.”
MORE ABOUT WILLERBY
- The company has a workforce of around 1,100 across two sites covering 90 acres in Hull and is firmly established as Britain’s largest manufacturer of holiday homes and lodges that make dreams of owning a beautiful, stylish home from home come true.
- Willerby makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, especially in East Yorkshire, the heart of the caravan and holiday homes industry, including through its support for more than 400 suppliers.
- The business was founded in 1946 when Walter Allen, a resident of Willerby, on the outskirts of Hull, decided to switch from making beehives to building touring caravans for the growing post-war holiday park industry. In 2021 Willerby celebrated its 75th anniversary with the busiest year in its history, as the staycation surge drove demand for high-quality holiday homes.
- Willerby serves the ever-growing demand for holiday home and residential park home ownership through its extensive network of dealers and enviable portfolio of holiday and leisure park operator partners.
- Willerby Bespoke is the company’s fast-growing residential park homes brand, offering the very best park homes, built to last and offering stylish, low-maintenance and energy-efficient living all year round. Willerby Bespoke park homes are fully furnished, decorated and equipped to an exceptional standard, with each home custom-designed by Willerby’s experts to match buyers’ tastes and needs exactly.
- Willerby proudly champions staycations and the UK holiday and tourism industries. In 2020 Willerby launched a report, “The Great British Break Off”, which highlighted the critical importance of staycations and short breaks to mental health and wellbeing, the health benefits of living in a park home and why so many people choose this fantastic lifestyle.
- The business is committed to sustainability and leads the industry in the pursuit of environmental excellence. Willerby gives careful consideration to the environment in all its operations, from the selection and consumption of raw materials, to use of energy-efficient appliances and fittings, and sustainable waste management during production.
- In 2020 Willerby invested £1.25m to enhance its green credentials. This includes installing two 1MW biomass boilers to heat its 24,000 sq m production facilities, replacing a conventional warm air heating system, reducing use of fossil fuel and saving 1,000 tonnes of CO². The boilers are powered by wood offcuts from Willerby’s production processes, avoiding 840 truck trips a year that had previously been required to remove this waste.
- Willerby has also introduced a fleet of electric bicycles used by staff to cycle around and between its Hull sites, instead of making journeys by car. The company has also recently fundamentally changed its vehicle policy, to strongly encourage a switch to electric and hybrid cars and vans. To support this, Willerby is doubling the number of on-site EV charging points.
- Willerby is majority owned by independent investment house Equistone Partners Europe, with a minority stake held by the management team. Equistone operates in the UK and Europe, investing as a strategic partner alongside management teams. Equistone invests in strong businesses with the potential to grow, supported by Equistone’s capital and guided by its investment experience.
- For more information on Willerby and its holiday homes, lodges and residential park homes, visit willerby.com