Free meal, cake and taxi as businesses show support for Thomas Cook employees
PUBLISHED: 10:07 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 25 September 2019
Businesses around Lowestoft have offered a helping hand to those most affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook.
With the travel company's demise being confirmed in the early hours of Monday morning, thousands of holidaymakers have voiced concerns about their plans, while thousands more have been stranded overseas awaiting flights home.
Taking to Facebook last night, Lowestoft restaurant Sgt Peppers, on the High Street, announced they would be offering staff who have lost their jobs as a result of the collapse a free main course until the end of October.
They said: "We're devastated to hear the news about Thomas Cook. A sad day for Lowestoft and a sad day for the travel industry.
"We would like to offer any local Thomas Cook employees a free main course from now until the end of October. It might not be much, but I hope a little treat may help to make you feel better.
"Please present your name badge or pay slip at the time of ordering."
The gestures have been well received by employees at the company's Lowestoft base, with now-former manager Michelle Hyde thanking those offering support.
She said: "Myself and my very dedicated team are completely overwhelmed with the support and lovely offers from local businesses.
"I can't tell you how much we appreciate all the kind words and love we've received from everyone, which are helping to lift our spirits in a difficult time."
The gesture was echoed by the East Point Pavilion, on Royal Plain, who are offering employees a free coffee and cake.
They said: "With other local businesses pulling together for the staff of Thomas Cook, we would like to do our part as well.
"We would like to offer any local Thomas Cook employees a free cup of coffee and a cake of your choice.
"We reopen on October 1 and this will run until the end of October.
"So please pop in, present your name badge or payslip and enjoy a lovely cuppa on us."
One Lowestoft taxi company praised the community response following the closure, and offered their help to those losing jobs at Thomas Cook and Tesco Metro, with the London Road North store closing on Saturday.
740 Xscape Taxis posted: "The community outreach has been wonderful.
"We can't offer much towards a fix, but we would like to help in our way.
"We understand not everyone has a car to get around, so when any employee from Thomas Cook Lowestoft, or Tesco Metro, needs to get to that important interview, we would like to be there.
"Now we cannot offer the earth so we have to set limits. One free journey to an interview, and a driver with a smile."
They said the distance limit would be 13 miles, that journeys must be pre-booked and that proof of pay slip and interview letter must be presented.
"Every little helps," they said.
The Hotel Victoria have also reached out to employees.
They posted: "We have seen so much support in our local community for Thomas Cook and it just shows how amazing our little town really is.
"We can't begin to understand waking up to having no job, especially this close to Christmas so our hearts are with our little Lowestoft branch.
"We would like to offer your Lowestoft branch a get-together with us for our Gin Afternoon Tea. If you're anything like us you all work as a little family so keep in touch and don't lost that.
"We know you'll have lots to do but our offer doesn't have an expiry so get yourselves pampered, recovered and sorted then come visit us. We look forward to seeing you."
For former employees concerned about their mortgages following the collapse, Your Mortgage Solutions in Beccles are offering a free consultation, usually worth £495, to answer questions they may have, as well as to talk about options and implications now and in the future.
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