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Bosses rally in support of bold move by Hoseasons' chief executive

PUBLISHED: 12:15 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 21 August 2019

Simon Altham, chief portfolio officer of Awaze UK, parent company of Hoseasons. Pic: contributed

Simon Altham, chief portfolio officer of Awaze UK, parent company of Hoseasons. Pic: contributed

Bosses have applauded the bold stance taken by Hoseasons chief executive Simon Altham after he said homophobic and racist customers were not welcome on his firm's holidays.

Simon Altham, chief portfolio officer at Awaze UK, parent company of Hoseasons, opens up about inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. Picture: Ella WilkinsonSimon Altham, chief portfolio officer at Awaze UK, parent company of Hoseasons, opens up about inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Fellow CEOs from firms around Norfolk and Suffolk gave Mr Altham a huge nod of respect with many taking to social media to air their views.

Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams brewery, based in Suffolk, tweeted: "Courageous, inspirational and enlightened leadership. Well done, Simon."

David Field, CEO of the Zoological Society of East Anglia, bossing Banham Zoo in Norfolk and Africa Alive! in Suffolk, also heaped praise on the holiday firm boss. "I applaud his stance, we need a society which is inclusive of everyone and goes against what actually can be the criminal views of a minority, I applaud and encourage him."

Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams. Pic: Sarah Groves, Archant.Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams. Pic: Sarah Groves, Archant.

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Jan Hytch, operations partner at property firm Arnolds Keys said: "Any potential landlord who asks us as letting agents to discriminate in respect of tenants is told by us that we cannot act for them. It used to be a case back in the day that you would get people of a certain age saying they didn't want certain types of people but it's so rare now. We live in a multi-cultural society and we are all citizens of the planet and need to give each other respect."

Jan Hytch, operations partner at Arnolds Keys. Pic: Arnolds KeysJan Hytch, operations partner at Arnolds Keys. Pic: Arnolds Keys

Natalie Douglas, former head of marketing at Woodforde's Brewery, based at Woodbastwick and now a branding and communications expert, said: "A sad past story connecting to a brands future and a very bright and successful one, great piece from Hoseasons and so good to read a brand taking a stance against the minority, a valuable lesson."

Mr Altham declared homophobic or racist customers were not welcome at Hoseasons, which promotes diversity. The chief portfolio officer at Awaze UK, parent company of Lowestoft-based Hoseasons, said in an exclusive interview with this newspaper: "Hoseasons as a brand needed to stand for something and I don't want racist or homophobic customers booking with Hoseasons. If you are homophobic or racist, Hoseasons isn't the right brand for you."

He was talking about being a diversity role model for Hoseasons and his own personal struggle with his sexuality in business.

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