Frequently asked questions

We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions.

We purchased the building in November 2019, we are a small family run business who have put everything into this new venture.

In the short time since we have owned the building, we have managed to renovate the bar area, which was much needed along with some minor changes to the front of the building.

We are working with the council and planners to hopefully get permission to upgrade the front of the building as it is certainly an eye sore when travelling through Neath. Hopefully, something can be done with the old pub next door soon as well.

In Short… lack of accommodation and then COVID.

We were approached by the council to provide temporary accommodation for people who are in between housing, and then our business, along with so many other across the country had to close very suddenly. 

The bar and restaurant were closed and tourism had disappeared overnight. With the risk of staff losing jobs (furlough had not been thought of back then) and the business failing just as we got started we had to give it a go. We had no idea how long lockdown would go on for.

What we do know is most people staying there have come into hard times, some losing careers, losing homes, some from marriage break ups and other tragic circumstances where they have nowhere to go.

These people are local people! family, friends and work colleagues. Yes… work colleagues, we have had bank workers, personal trainers, musicians, tradesmen, project managers amazon workers and many more. These people are often someone you may know or have been in school with but are just in a difficult place at present, lets face it without furlough or grants a lot more people might be in a position where a place like the Ambassador is the difference between sleeping on the streets or having a roof over your head.

We have had the privilege of having an insight to the hard work the local charities, police and housing department in the council do. It’s a thankless task where they often get the blame for things outside of their control.

From what I’ve seen Neath would be a lot worse without their hard work!

The government’s pledge to eradicate homelessness is no small task and these guys are at the forefront of this mammoth challenge. There’s no short-term solution and every town across the UK is currently in the same position a the moment.’

Neath/Port Talbot is the simple answer.

We have had people try to stay from outside of the area however the council will not place anyone who is not from Neath/Port Talbot or has links to the area.

We have heard of rumours of people coming in from as far as Birmingham however that simply isn’t the case. We have not been shipping people in from all other areas. 

They don’t send everyone from prison straight down the Ambo that’s for certain, however if somebody leaves prison and finds themselves with no home or family to go to, i’m sure the housing department stepping in to temporarily house them until they can be housed permanently isn’t such a bad thing.

As for the drugs, yes there are some users. Drugs are everywhere in society, whether your homeless or not. People turn to drink and drugs when times are hard and whether your rich or poor, housed or not.

We try our best to identify these individuals and get them the support they require. We work very closely with some fantastic organisations and charities, and yes there has been several success stories.

Not every incident that occurs in Neath town is someone who is staying at the Ambassador.

When we first started visiting neath we noticed the area by the banks was always full of drunks and there seemed to be a lot of antisocial behaviour.

After agreeing to take on the guests, we thought it would be these people that would be staying with us, making assumptions that these were homeless.

We since learnt that most of the troublemakers that the police often deal with in that area are in fact living in or around the neath area and are housed.

However, some of the guests that stay with us can be troublesome, we have security at the hotel 24/7 and our staff work tirelessly to manage any troublemakers. If there are any instances of guests causing trouble they are warned and if the behaviour does not improve, we will ask the council to remove them.

If anyone has any issues with a guest please let u know and we will do our best to resolve it, if it persists, they will be asked to leave the hotel. Our details can easily be found on google or pop in to have a socially distanced chat with our staff, I can assure you they are very friendly and approachable.

It has been difficult to see every single crime or incident in the town centre get related back to the hotel or the “homeless”, in this day and age I find it disappointing that people will still make assumptions that your housing status makes you a criminal.

When the market got broken into the residents from The Ambassador were quickly blamed, the recent incident opposite the train station was promptly associated with the hotel or the homeless yet once again there is no connection.

The guests at the hotel are not provided with meals, they are provided with some basic food warming facilities.

 

There was a brief period at the start of the pandemic when the takeaways and all shops were closed that the council and some charities stepped in to ensure nobody would starve, a meal a day was provided during this period.

 

There are some great charities that continue to support the homeless by providing food and basic supplies.

 

We aren’t sure where the funds are provided from but from what I’ve read in the news it seems that central government is providing the funding, amongst other funds made available during the pandemic such as furlough, grants, loans etc.

Yes, but its hard to comment on this out of respect for the family members.

However I will say, its disappointing seeing some of the negative social media posts. At a time when suicides are at their highest and people are going through the toughest times of their lives, restrictions taking away income and their home with no end in sight, Its really sad to see, especially when family and friends then have to face seeing some terrible things posted online. Please think before commenting or posting on social media!

Our bar and restaurant is totally closed we have no income from what is normally what keeps the business afloat, overall our business trading is down over 60%. We are currently getting paid on average £34 per room per night.

We initially only rented rooms to help out with the pandemic and yes it helps cover our costs and overheads, which in a building like this is extremely hard. 

As soon as we can, we want to get back to normal, carry on renovating the building inside and out, get the bands back playing in the bar and rooms let (with tourists and contractors).

Unfortunately, we cant see a future in the restaurant, the business was tough and although the weekend carverys were great we struggled to cover costs.

This area of the business we will be looking to lease out where hopefully someone else can make a success of it.

I just hope people will try to avoid being so judgmental based on information from hearsay or social media. If you really want to know anything, pop in for a socially distanced chat. If its posted online it doesn’t always mean its true.

If somebody is drunk, using drugs or causing trouble it doesn’t automatically make them “one of the homeless from the Ambo”, stopping the homeless having a roof over their head at their time of need and lowest will more than likely add the drug abuse or antisocial behaviour problem that we and many other towns have.

We have avoided getting sucked into responding to some of the comments on social media and will not be doing so in the future, we thought providing some clarity on frequently raised comments / questions would help.

What we can assure everyone is we will continue to do our best to work with anyone who has any issues. Hopefully, we can all get back to normality asap!

We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions.

The building is an eye sore, why have you let it get so bad?

We purchased the building in November 2019, we are a small family run business who have put everything into this new venture.

In the short time since we have owned the building, we have managed to renovate the bar area, which was much needed along with some minor changes to the front of the building.

We are working with the council and planners to hopefully get permission to upgrade the front of the building as it is certainly an eye sore when travelling through Neath. Hopefully, something can be done with the old pub next door soon as well.


Why is the hotel being used as temporary accommodation?

In Short… COVID.

Our business, along with so many other across the country had to close very suddenly. We were approached by the council to provide temporary accommodation for people who are in between housing.

The bar and restaurant were closed and tourism had disappeared overnight. With the risk of staff losing jobs (furlough had not been thought of back then) and the business failing just as we got started we had to give it a go. We had no idea how long lockdown would go on for.

Who stays at the hotel?

We don’t get a say in who is put into the hotel as the housing department in the council places the guests with us.

What we do know is most people staying there have come into hard times, some losing careers, losing homes, some from marriage break ups and other tragic circumstances where they have nowhere to go.

These people are local people! family, friends and work colleagues. Yes… work colleagues, we have had bank workers, personal trainers, musicians, tradesmen, project managers amazon workers and many more. These people are often someone you may know or have been in school with but are just in a difficult place at present, lets face it without furlough or grants a lot more people might be in a position where a place like the Ambassador is the difference between sleeping on the streets or having a roof over your head.

We have had the privilege of having an insight to the hard work the local charities, police and housing department in the council do. It’s a thankless task where they often get the blame for things outside of their control.

From what ive seen Neath would be a lot worse without their hard work!

The government’s pledge to eradicate homelessness is no small task and these guys are at the forefront of this mammoth challenge. There’s no short-term solution and every town across the UK is currently in the same position a the moment.

Where do the guests come from?

Neath is the simple answer.

We have had people try to stay from outside of the area however the council will not place anyone who is not from the area.

We have heard of rumours of people coming in from as far as Birmingham however that simply isn’t the case.

Is the antisocial behaviour in the town centre directly related to the guests?

When I first started visiting neath I noticed the area by the banks was always full of drunks and there seemed to be a lot of antisocial behaviour around the area it has seemed pretty rough around this area for a long time.

After agreeing to take on the guests the council send our way we thought it would the these people that would be staying with us, making assumptions that these were homeless.

We since learnt that the majority of the trouble makers that the police often have to deal with in that area are in fact living in or around the neath area and are housed.

However some of the guests that stay with us can be troublsome, we have security at the hotel 24/7 and our staff work tirelessly to manage any trouble makers. If there are any instances of guests causing trouble they are warned and if the behaviour doesn’t improve we will ask the council to remove them.

If anyone has any issues with a guest please let u know and we will do our best to resolve it, if it persists, they will be asked to leave the hotel. Our details can easily be found on google or pop in to have a chat with our staff, I can assure you they are very friendly and approachable.

It has been difficult to see every single crime of incident on the town centre get related back to the hotel or the “homeless”, this day and age I find it disappointing that people will still make assumptions that your housing status makes you a criminal.

When the market got broken into they face a trial by social media and was very quickly blamed, the recent incident opposite the train station was promptly associated with the hotel or the homeless yet once again there is no connection.

Are there drug users and prison leavers at the hotel?

Prison leavers… unless they tell us we don’t know. They don’t send everyone from prison straight down the Ambo that’s for certain, however if somebody leaves prison and finds themselves with no home or family to go to, im sure the housing department stepping in to temporarily house them until they can be housed permanently isn’t such a bad thing.

As for the drugs, yes there are some users. Drugs are everywhere in society, whether your homeless or not. People turn to drink and drugs when times are hard and whether your rich or poor, housed or not.

We try our best to identify and stop any use and will remove people from the hotel if they are found doing so. There is loads of support available from some fantastic people and charities and they work very closely with anyone who requires their help.

There was a video posted online stating there was murder, and all sorts at the hotel, was there any truth in this?

As I mentioned, drug use and bad behaviour will not be tolerated. As you would have seen in the video, the person was certainly under the influence of something and had a very good imagination! The person in the video had been asked to leave the hotel earlier in the day and it seems a tragic incident was used as his revenge against staff members. We involve the police who quickly realised there was no truth in the comments and helped move the person out.

I’ve heard there’s been deaths at the hotel?

Yes, but its hard to comment on this out of respect for the family members.

However I will say, its disappointing seeing some of the negative social media posts. At a time when suicides are at their highest and people are going through the toughest times of their lives, restrictions taking away income and their home with no end in sight, Its really sad to see, especially when family and friends then have to face seeing some terrible things posted online. Please think before commenting or posting on social media!

I’ve heard your earning loads of money from the homeless, is this true?

Our bar and restaurant is totally closed we have no income from what is normally what keeps the business afloat, overall our business trading is down over 60% and if it wasn’t for the rooms being let we would be yet another boarded up building that brings down the town centre.

We rent rooms out for twenty odd pounds a night as and when we can, we are trying to survive the pandemic and cover our costs and overheads, which in a building like this is extremely hard.

What’s the future for the building?

As soon as we can, we want to get back to normal, carry on renovating the building inside and out, get the bands back playing in the bar and rooms let (with tourists and contractors).

Unfortunately, we cant see a future in the restaurant, the business was tough and although the weekend carverys were great we struggled to cover costs.

This area of the business we will be looking to lease out where hopefully someone else can make a success of it.

Do you have anything to add?

I just hope people will try to avoid being so judgmental based on information from hearsay or social media. If you really want to know anything, pop in for a socially distanced chat. If its posted online it doesn’t always mean its true.

If somebody is drunk, using drugs or causing trouble it doesn’t automatically make them “one of the homeless from the Ambo”, stopping the homeless having a roof over their head at their time of need and lowest will more than likely add the drug abuse or antisocial behaviour problem that we and many other towns have.

We have avoided getting sucked into responding to some of the comments on social media and will not be doing so in the future, we thought providing some clarity on frequently raised comments / questions would help.

What we can assure everyone is we will continue to do our best to work with anyone who has any issues. Hopefully, we can all get back to normality asap!

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please reach out to our team –  Contact us.

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