The Thomas Cook Children’s Charity has donated £18,000 of its remaining funds to Reuben’s Retreat to help vulnerable families during the lockdown.

Trustees of TCCC, which is in the process of being wound down, chose Reuben’s Retreat as one of three charities to receive leftover monies after paying out already-pledged funds.

TCCC operated as a separate entity to Cook and has been collecting all monies donated in branches and overseas since the travel firm’s collapse last autumn.

The funds will help 143 families on a 12-week lockdown due to increased health risk during the Covid-19 pandemic and being supported remotely by Reuben’s Retreat.

Nicola Graham, who set up Reuben’s Retreat with husband Mike after their son’s death in 2012, said: “Throughout the ‘stay home, stay safe’ strategy, our fundraising has been severely impeded at a time when our beneficiary families became more vulnerable than ever.

“Families of children with short life expectancy are worried about a common cold; the thought of a virus has placed them in a really frightening position. They have increased isolation too, affecting their grieving processes. This incredible gift from TCCC  comes at a time when it is so needed. It goes without saying, we promise to spend it wisely.”

The charity is renovating its premises in Derbyshire and is eight weeks away from completing a hydrotherapy pool, sensory and movie room and messy play room.

In 2016, it received £150,000 from TCCC.

TCCC trustee Matt Harding said: “It was important we chose charities we knew would look after the funds in the right way. It had to fit with our charitable aims. We have a longstanding relationship with Reuben’s Retreat and trust them.”