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Housekeeper cleans up with hospitality runner-up award

The Black Swan, Helmsley.
The Black Swan, Helmsley.

The head housekeeper at a traditional coaching inn style hotel in Ryedale has been named runner-up in the prestigious AA Hospitality Awards.

Alison Richardson, of the Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley, was recognised for her 31 years of service at the four-star hotel, having risen through the ranks from chambermaid to head housekeeper.

Peter Llewellyn, general manager, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Alison finish as high as second in the AA Hospitality Awards. To come runner-up amongst such an elite group of housekeepers is testament to the hard work Alison puts in daily. We’re all so proud of her.”

Alison said: “I’m overwhelmed to have finished runner-up for the Housekeeper of the Year Award. Just being named as a finalist was a great honour in itself.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey, it’s been incredible.

“The awards ceremony was great, and I even got to meet Claudia Winkleman.”

Alison is not the first of her family to work at The Black Swan. Her mother, Jean, worked at the hotel for 57 years, receiving an MBE for her service to the catering industry in 2001.

Having also introduced both Alison and her sister Helen to The Black Swan, the whole family has played a big-part in shaping the present-day hotel.

The AA Hospitality Award for ‘Housekeeper of the Year’ aims to showcase outstanding commitment and performance to the industry.