Thank you to all those that supported our appeal at the Travel Convention to raise £100,000 for former Thomas Cook staff. With your kindness and generosity, we are nearly there.  

On 23 September over 9,000 employees of Thomas Cook lost their jobs. Many are now relying on food banks. Some are single parents, some couples who both worked for Thomas Cook, some were on maternity leave, some on sick leave or supporting another sick member of the family. Some had done over 40 years’ service for a company they loved. 

Many were told they would have to wait 6 weeks for their wages and redundancy pay; 6 weeks for benefits. The result for many has been devastating. For those fortunate to find jobs quickly, they will still have to wait for their first pay packet and still have bills to pay. For those not so lucky they will fall increasingly into debt; some may face losing their homes. 

Not everyone has someone to fall back on and that’s why we are here, we are the lifeline for those vulnerable people in our community. 

LifeLine responded immediately by providing emergency financial assistance; supermarket vouchers for those most in need to be able to put food on the table. 

And with Citizens Advice Manchester, established a dedicated telephone helpline to get people the right benefit advice that they need. 

However, this is just the start of the support that is required. We know that over the next few months some former staff are going to struggle paying their rent and mortgages. 

Over the last two weeks LifeLine has been swamped with enquires and applications for help. 

We are helping everyone we can, but we are a small charity with limited funds. We urgently need to raise money to continue to provide the support that is required. 

At the Convention we received some £60,000 in corporate donation pledges. Combined with the cycling, football, bowling, raffle and auction we have raised approximately £76,000.

A huge thank you to all those companies supporting our appeal, to Avis Budget Group, Holiday Extras, British Airways, White Hart Associates and First Data for supporting our activities at the Convention, and to all the delegates that entered our raffle and auction. 

Thanks to all the prize donors, Elite Island Resorts and Resort International Marketing, British Airways, Celebrity Cruises, Kuoni, ANA and the wonderful Chris Ship. 

Together we are making a difference to the lives of people in our industry that have nowhere else to turn.