Introducing our Mental Health First Aiders

As part of Secret Escapes’ commitment to promoting positive mental health in the workplace, we’re pleased to introduce a new team of Mental Health First Aiders.

Accredited by Mental Health First Aid England, our newly qualified Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) are based in London, Berlin and Amsterdam, and are on hand to provide support to anyone who may be experiencing poor mental health or emotional distress.

We’re passionate about boosting employee well-being and maintaining a healthy workplace, and we believe that providing effective support to colleagues experiencing poor mental health is a way of putting the Secret Escapes values into practice. We also know that good quality mental health support can genuinely make a positive difference to well-being at work. 

Mental Health First Aiders can:

  • ​Act as a point of contact to reassure colleagues in emotional distress or experiencing poor mental health
  • Listen non-judgmentally and hold supportive conversations (confidentially)
  • Signpost colleagues to professional help
  • Identify the signs and symptoms for a range of mental health conditions
  • Use a five-step action plan to assist someone experiencing poor mental health

Meet our MHFAs

London office

  • Shianne Stannard – Risk Manager
  • Elle Kkolos – Senior Content Editor, UK
  • Dom Pitt – Brand & Marketing Promotions Manager
  • Hannah Hunter-Reid – Reward & Systems Analyst
  • Georgie Agnew – Senior Customer Insights Analyst

Berlin office

  • Efe Mumoglu – Engineering Manager


  • Aneta Keliskova – Global Operations Administrative Assistant

It’s also important to note that MHFAs are not qualified to provide counselling, diagnosis or ongoing support, and they can’t be available outside their normal working hours – but colleagues can also access 24/7 confidential advice through the Employee Assistance Programme here, and medical support via Medicash and Vitality healthcare. 

You can reach out to any of the MHFAs via G chat, via, or if you see them around the offices (they’re an approachable bunch).

World Mental Health Day 2021

1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems each year, and having a colleague in your corner can make all the difference. The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day every year on the 10th of October (this Sunday).

We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some information and resources available to you, and to let you know about what we have planned for next week.

Information and resources

There are lots of resources available on our SE World site, but here are a few we thought were particularly relevant:

Soon we’ll be launching a new global Employee Assistance Program that will give all our global employees access to 24/7 online support and six face-to-face counselling sessions. We will be sharing more details about this very soon.

On Monday 11th October at 11 am, we’ll be running a virtual yoga session. You’ll just need some comfy clothes for this calming breathwork and simple stretching session, which is suitable for everyone, from beginners to seasoned yogis. We’ve added this to your calendar

On Tuesday 12th October at 11 am, our meditation master Monica Auro will be running a session – we’ve added this to your calendar

Mindful colouring is proven to help us relax – so we’ll have a selection of colouring materials in the office for you to take a creative break throughout the week

Tea and talk: On Thursday 14th at 10 UK time, we’ll be meeting for 45 minutes to have a cuppa and a chat – we’ve added this to your calendar

Spending time outside can benefit both your mental and physical well-being. At 12.30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’ll be heading outside for a relaxing walk together – come along and take some time to clear your mind

Healthy breakfast: Look out for healthy breakfast options next week to help nourish your body and mind for the day ahead!

The kindness form is open!

This month, we’re trying something a little different! As well as our usual virtual messages, we’ll have physical kindness cards in the London office. Write your lovely message and pop it in the “kindness box” in the kitchen, then we’ll deliver it to your recipient (UK-based only). Please make sure that you put first and last names so we can get your message to the correct person!

Our new kindness cards were designed by the wonderful Warsan Abdullahi! If you’d like to help design some cards, please get in touch with, or speak to Warsan!

Submit your kindness note here, or pick up a card in the office! 

Celebrating 10 years of Secret Escapes

2021 marks the ten-year anniversary of Secret Escapes. 

Since our launch in 2011 we have welcomed over 60 million members globally and delivered great value deals on dream escapes to some of the most incredible destinations around the world. While a lot has changed over the past decade, one thing still remains the same; we’re committed to delivering irresistible discounts on luxury travel to help our members discover corners of the world they might never have imagined. 

To celebrate, we’re looking back over our key milestones from the past ten years.  We’re incredibly proud of the company we have built, the people we have employed and the successes we’ve all contributed to along the way; from hiring our very first employee (Dan Evans, who is still part of the team), to reaching our 5 million member mark and acquiring the businesses that make up the Secret Escapes Group today.

We’ve been financially supported by some of the world’s greatest investors: legendary venture capital firms such as Index Ventures, global powerhouses like Temasek, no greater household name than Google and (among others) the UK’s greatest home-grown venture capital success story, Octopus Ventures. They have believed in us, celebrated success with us, stood by us in tough times, and have truly been an integral part of the Secret Escapes story.


The big one! Day one. The Secret Escapes Group launched and our website went live in the UK with just 5 deals (they must have been good ones!).


We launched our very first TV ad – the one everyone remembers to this day. Starring Camilla Arfwedson, whispering a slogan that has since become synonymous with our brand, “the worst kept secret in luxury travel”.


We expanded into Europe and Scandinavia, with Secret Escapes launching sites in Germany, shortly followed by Sweden. In just two short years, we had reached over 5 million members in the UK, Germany and Sweden.


We acquired two new brands, Travelist  (a flash deals brand in Poland) and Germany-based JustBook, a mobile-based specialist in business travel sector bookings.

We expanded even more with Secret Escapes launching in Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and later in the year, the US.


We expanded to four new territories; Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.


We spread our wings in Asia, expanded to France and made more moves in Eastern Europe.


We acquired 100% of Slevomat Group (, and, Central and Eastern Europe’s leading travel deals and experiences company.


We acquired the assets of TravelBird and restarted the website as part of the Secret Escapes Group.


We launched our iOS App in January 2019.

We acquired Empathy Marketing Limited, welcoming Ireland’s leading marketplace for premium hospitality and e-commerce into the Secret Escapes Group. 

We appointed Kate Swann, as Chair of the Secret Escapes board.

We sent 6 billion emails to our members this year alone!


The global COVID-19 pandemic turned the world of travel upside down, but in the face of adversity, the Secret Escapes team rose to the challenge, helping over 100,000 members in a single month.  

When lockdowns eased, we inspired our members with a wide range of refundable deals – perfect for a ‘Staycation Summer’  to get around international travel restrictions. 

In November, we launched our Android app!


We bounced back after the toughest 18 months faced by the travel industry, offering a wide range of domestic and international stays to our travel-hungry audience. 

The Secret Escapes Group sustained strong performance despite months of widespread uncertainty and changing guidance on where and when people could travel.

The future…

Looking back over the past ten years shows just how far we’ve come, but we certainly aren’t slowing down yet. 

As we return to the office, trialling our new, more flexible way of working, we’re excited to see our core values, ‘We are good people’ and ‘We make stuff happen’ continue to be at the centre of what we do. We look forward to sharing plenty more irresistible deals on luxury (albeit not-so secret any more) escapes with you in the years to come!