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Published on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ex-Thomas Cook regional managers join Travel Counsellors

More than 30 ex-Cook employees are joining Travel Counsellors, including two new regional managers.

The group said the new recruits would launch new leisure travel businesses from home or shared office spaces before the end of next month.

Travel Counsellors is running back-to-back induction courses over the next two months to meet the demand from travel professionals who lost their jobs following Thomas Cook's collapse.

It held 'Thomas Cook Care' events across the UK, inviting ex-Cook staff to workshops focussed on supporting their next career move, plus advice on health and mental wellbeing following the loss of thousands of livelihoods.

The company has also recruited the support of two Thomas Cook regional managers to facilitate a smooth transition for new Travel Counsellor business owners.

Darren Bien, previously Birmingham and Bristol regional sales manager, and Jayne Marlor, previously Manchester central regional sales manager from Thomas Cook, have both taken up roles as TC liaison officers at Travel Counsellors.

Bien said: "It's been fantastic to be able to continue to support my fellow colleagues from Thomas Cook in my new role at Travel Counsellors.

"Our teams meant the world to us - they were and always will be our family. I continue to feel a strong connection and responsibility to the brilliant people I worked with for many years, and both Jayne and I have been in touch with hundreds of our colleagues to not only help them to consider the opportunities available to them at Travel Counsellors, but encourage them to take the time to pause and reflect on their next career move, wherever this may take them."

Marlor added: "I have been absolutely blown away by the warm welcome we've received at Travel Counsellors, and the strong ethos of care that runs through the heart of the company community. It's also opened my eyes to the idea that running a business from a home doesn't mean that you are working alone.

"There is huge sense of team spirit fostered between the Manchester support team and Travel Counsellor business owners across the UK and beyond, as well as individual Travel Counsellors working together on local and regional levels. It's truly been a great experience to witness first-hand."

Sharon Antill, who is one of the latest ex-Cook employees to join Travel Counsellors after being made redundant from her role as sales consultant at the Birmingham New Street store, explained: "When the news broke and I was officially made redundant it felt like my whole world had collapsed. After working for Thomas Cook for more than 20 years I honestly didn't know which way to turn. After taking some time to reflect, and knowing I wanted to stay in an industry I love, I decided it was now or never to launch my own business so that I could continue to look after my customers.

"Many of my customers have been delighted to hear that I am back up and running as their dedicated travel agent. After going through a traumatic few weeks with the loss of everything I knew and loved, I'm now really excited about what my future holds."

Travel Counsellors CEO Steve Byrne said: "For the new Travel Counsellors who have already joined from Thomas Cook, and for those set to attend our induction courses and launch their new businesses over the next few weeks, we are only too pleased, and very humbled by the fact that they can now feel safe, secure and positive about their future in travel again."

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