Thomas Cook appeal targets donations from former executives

Two former Thomas Cook executives have teamed up to launch a fundraising appeal to help cash-strapped former employees of the former travel giant.

Former UK managing director John McEwan and ex-chief executive John Donaldson have drawn up a list of 50 former executives they are targeting for funding.

McEwan said they hoped to raise “a significant six-figure sum” and pledges of up to £50,000 had already been made.

The fundraising campaign is being run in partnership with Abta Lifeline charity, which has its own appeal to support the nearly 500 former Thomas Cook staff that have submitted applications for help. It has so far raised around £70,000.

McEwan, who is an Abta Lifeline trustee, said: “Our primary purpose is to reach deeper within Thomas Cook over the last 20 years and appeal to people personally.

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“We are calling people over the next two or three days. Abta Lifeline might not be able to get people that are not on social media.”

McEwan did not reveal which former executives they were targeting.

“I do not want to name names – it is a confidential list,” he said. “They may or may not want to comment and say if they made a donation or not.”

McEwan said he would meet contacts who live within 15 miles of his home near Peterborough face-to-face.

He said he had been surprised at the number of enquiries that were coming in from Thomas Cook staff.

“We have gone out and met their initial needs, like putting food on the table with food vouchers, but now we want to give more finances to help Abta Lifeline and provide it with more financial scope.

“All the funds raised will go into the pot. It will give them more cash, to do more.”

Donaldson said he was “deeply saddened” by the suffering of Thomas Cook staff over the last few weeks.

“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 said.

Donate to the new appeal here

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