More than 600 Thomas Cook staff given free holiday by Suffolk firm
PUBLISHED: 11:58 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 16 October 2019
© Mark Chivers Photography
A Suffolk holiday firm has invited more than 600 former Thomas Cook employees and their families on a seaside getaway.
Broadland Sands Holiday Park, near Lowestoft, will be picking up the tab to allow the colleagues of the recently collapsed holiday giant to say a "proper goodbye".
The reunion will take place from November 8 to 11, with ex-Thomas Cook staff enjoying a host of free entertainment throughout.
Geoff Barnes, marketing director of Park Holiday UK which owns the site, said it would be a chance for staff to swap memories and let their hair down.
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"The immediacy of the announcement meant that there was little time for many staff at Thomas Cooks' Peterborough headquarters to say a final farewell", he explained.
"As members of the holiday industry ourselves, we were also deeply saddened by the news and wanted to reach out to try and soften the blow in some way.
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"We thought the best way to help would be to open one of our most popular parks, Broadland Sands, for a long weekend and to offer free stays to staff and their partners and children.
"Within one day of making the opportunity known to Thomas Cook staff, we were delighted to have taken bookings for all of the park's 150-plus holiday homes.
"It means that we'll be welcoming over 600 guests in total for between two and three nights, and we hope it will create a truly memorable experience for everyone.
Mr Barnes added: "I'm sure there will be some nostalgic moments, but overall we simply want all the Thomas Cook team, and especially the children, to share a very happy time."
As well as the free accommodation, guests will have use of all of Broadland Sand's leisure facilities, including a recently opened £1.6 million swimming pool complex.
Charges will also be waived on some other activities usually paid for by holiday guests, such as the climbing wall, adventure golf course and Segway Scooters.
In addition, Park Holidays UK will be laying on a full no-cost entertainments programme in the park's clubhouse featuring professional family-friendly acts.
Any local firms interested in contributing prizes or services to the event are invited to contact Geoff Barnes at Park Holidays UK on firstname.lastname@example.org