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Published on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Former Thomas Cook bosses launch staff hardship fundraiser



Two former Thomas Cook senior executives have launched a major fundraising campaign to help staff who have been financially impacted by the recent failure of Thomas Cook.



Former Thomas Cook staff protest in Manchester


John Donaldson, who was CEO of the group between 1998 and 2001 and John McEwan, who held a number of senior management position between 1984 and 2000, including UK MD, have teamed up to lead the campaign.


They are seeking support from other former senior Thomas Cook executives and contacts from across the wider UK travel industry.

The fundraising campaign will be aligned and administered by the ABTA LifeLine charity, a fund that is dedicated to supporting travel industry people in need. The charity is already working to support Thomas Cook staff who have made contact with them.

McEwan, who is also a Trustee of ABTA LifeLine added: "The ABTA LifeLine Charity is a perfect vehicle to align this campaign to as it is already helping Thomas Cook staff and has the infrastructure to administer the funds."

Donaldson said: "I am deeply saddened by the hardship that a great many of the Thomas Cook staff are experiencing right now.  


"It is through their loyalty and the strong culture that was built up over the years that made the people of Thomas Cook the company's most valuable asset and it's devastating to see them suffer."

He is currently reaching out to Thomas Cook colleagues and other industry contacts to seek their support and said the response so far has been 'incredibly positive'.

The pair says £50,000 has been pledged already. They don't have a final target in mind, but say 'a significant six-figure sum' would be good.

McEwan recently spent the day with Thomas Cook staff at a job fair in Peterborough and said the company's collapse had left many without any financial security, even in the immediate future.


He added: "We are delighted with the support from the industry towards the Thomas Cook team, including potential recruitment opportunities through the great initiative from Hays Travel in picking up the retail shops and TUI airlines offering roles to Thomas Cook Airlines staff.


"However, the vast majority of staff are still without employment and have little prospect of any income for the next few months.

"ABTA LifeLine is going a great job in providing support. However, more financial assistance is needed urgently, and this campaign will certainly help. We are not only going to contact our own personal networks but also communicate via social media and though the Thomas Cook alumni network.


"We are appealing to all of our former Thomas Cook colleagues around the world to give generously and support all those that have recently lost their jobs.''


A page has been set up on the JustGiving site for donations.

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