Published on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

TUI staff to get counselling after traumatic knife attack

TUI managing director UK and Ireland Nick Longman has paid tribute to Cassie Hayes, who died after being attacked while at work in the company's Southport store on Saturday.

Cassie, who worked at the Chapel Street branch, was rushed to hospital but died from a wound to her throat.

Andrew Burke, 30, of Vincent Street in St Helens, was yesterday charged with murder and possessing a knife in a public place. He has been remanded in custody until another hearing on February 19.

Longman said Cassie, 28, was well liked and known for her sense of fun and passion for the business. 

"We know she will be greatly missed by all who knew her," he said.

Cassie worked for TUI for more than 12 years, working in a number of stores as a travel advisor in the Newcastle and Liverpool areas.

She had worked in the Southport store since 2008 and had been promoted to assistant manager in February 2015.

"Saturday was very traumatic for the Southport store team and our customers present at the time of the attack," said Longman.

"We've been supporting the team over the weekend and have arranged group and individual counselling support for them this week and will continue to provide support for them for as long as needed.  

"At an appropriate time, if they wish to do so, I will meet with Cassie's partner and Cassie's family to give our condolences in person and assure them of our on-going support.  We have also put in place our death in service processes, which provides both practical and emotional support to her family in the short, medium and long-term.

"We've also been in contact with our customers in store at the time, either directly or through the senior investigating officer, and we will be offering them counselling support as well, should they wish to do so. 

"I have been overwhelmed by the support and care expressed by many throughout the travel industry, it's at times like this you realise what a close community we are and how deeply the events of the weekend have shaken us all. Our Southport store will remain closed for the foreseeable future and in time, in conjunction with Cassie's family, we will think about the best way to commemorate her time at TUI."

A fundraising page has been set up on the travel industry's Facebook forum Travel Gossip and agents are sharing the hashtag #agentsunited.

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