COMMUNITIES across Renfrewshire are rallying together to support those affected by the collapse of travel giant Thomas Cook.

On Monday it was announced the world’s oldest travel company had ceased trading after 178 years in operation.

Messages of support for those who have been left without travel plans or a job are continuing to flood in, but one local company has gone the extra mile to help those struggling following the announcement.

Gryffe Radio Cars in Linwood has announced it is offering 20 free holidays to those who have lost out on a trip with Thomas Cook.

The taxi company has said it will pay for 20 week-long trips, with passes for as many as six people per family, to Craig Tara caravan park in Ayrshire.

Owner Andrew Hainey said: “We are a local, family-run company and saw what was happening and we wanted to give back.

“The amount of positive responses has been incredible. I know how I would feel if I had a holiday booked and it had been cancelled.”

He added: “We are trying to do our bit. 

“It’ll be first come, first served, but with so many people coming forward we’ll have to look at each case. People have had weddings booked and all sorts, they are distraught and it’s been really hard.”

Mr Hainey has also said the company will offer interviews to any workers left out of a job following the closure, with a number of vacancies at the business. 

Across the world, Thomas Cook has 22,000 staff who could now be without work, including 9,000 in the UK. Other travel companies across the country have stepped in to offer affected staff a route back into work. 

Reports suggest that easyJet are one of the travel firms to whom Thomas Cook workers could now relocate. 

Thomas Cook went into liquidation under the weight of a £1.7 billion debt pile. 

As a result, the UK Government has had to step in and fly approximately 155,000 customers home to Britain from 18 countries across the globe.

All Thomas Cook holidays are now cancelled, while the tour operators’ planes are grounded.

Customers can seek compensation via the Government’s Air Travel Organiser’s Licence Scheme (Atol), or from their credit card or insurance companies.

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