Thomas Cook staff open pop-up store to help customers - a week after they lost their jobs

Staff at the Longton branch of Thomas Cook, who lost their jobs when the company collapsed last week, have opened a pop up shop to help affected customers.

Manager Donna Jones, along with other former workers at the travel shop, are in an empty unit on The Exchange shopping centre 12pm-2pm today (30 September).

More than 100 people are queuing out of the door, as they try and get advice.

Donna says it has been tough on everyone since the news broke a week ago.

She said: "I experienced every emotion possible, and by 7am in the morning all my team were at my house.

"We all just cried for about five hours together.

"Today, I felt a bit daunted when I walked through the Exchange this morning.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of people that have turned up.

"But everybody has been so lovely and they have given us cards and chocolates, and thanked us for helping us with all their holidays.

"We just want to give people a bit of guidance, because it is such a complex process.

"It is complex for us, and we have been through it before with other operators, so we understand customers will need a bit of help.

"For us, it is being able to stay in touch with those customers who we are not going to be able to see again."

A collection bucket has also been put in the shop for people to donate to the staff who are now unemployed.

Donna said: "I can't even believe that people would think to do that.

"We haven't done it to get praise, we have just done it because we love our customers.

"We are the ones who booked their holidays, so we want to be there to try and help them through this awful time."

Sue Woods, from Meir, had booked a trip to Morocco, and came to the pop-up shop today to seek help to get a refund.

She said: "I think it is good of the girls to do it.

"You just need a bit of reassurance that you are covered and that eventually you will get your money back."

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