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Former Thomas Cook colleagues from Romford store enjoy pampering from Dagenham beauticians

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 October 2019

Rachel (second right) with staff from The Beauty Box who treated former Thomas Cook colleagues to a free pampering to get them ready for interviews. Picture: Rachel Mahoney-Bullen

Rachel (second right) with staff from The Beauty Box who treated former Thomas Cook colleagues to a free pampering to get them ready for interviews. Picture: Rachel Mahoney-Bullen

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A beauty shop's staff have treated Thomas Cook workers searching for jobs to a free pampering following the tour operator's collapse.

Former teammates enjoyed pedicures and manicures at the Dagenham shop. Picture: Rachel Mahoney-BullenFormer teammates enjoyed pedicures and manicures at the Dagenham shop. Picture: Rachel Mahoney-Bullen

Seven former colleagues from The Thomas Cook Travel Store in Romford who were made redundant when the business went into administration enjoyed tea, cakes, manicures and pedicures at The Beauty Box in Becontree Avenue, Dagenham.

Owner, Donna Pike, shut the shop for a morning as staff helped the jobseekers get "interview ready" in a gesture of support for the former colleagues whose futures were left uncertain after the firm went bust on September 23.

Donna said: "We just wanted to do something nice for them. There's nothing better than feeling confident going in to interviews.

"It was great seeing them leave the shop happier."

She added that having had experience of job loss herself meant she knew the feeling of not knowing what to do next.

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Branch manager, Rachel Mahoney-Bullen, who worked at the store for nearly 19 years, said: "We've been blown away by what Donna and the team have done. It was such a nice thing to do."

The single mum, who like many of her colleagues has bills and a mortgage to pay, added it was a pleasure to be reunited with her team again at the pampering on Thursday, October 3.

Since the firm went bust, Rachel said four of the 11 staff members from the Romford store have found work, but jobs were hard to find with a lot of competition from former Thomas Cook workers going for the same positions.

On Thomas Cook's end, Rachel said: "It's been like a death really. We're like a family. It's been really emotional."

The first staff at the branch in The Brewery Shopping Centre knew about the company's fate was when it was announced on the news.

Rachel said: "We had no idea. We emptied our lockers and the doors were shut. We hoped we would be bailed out or the banks would relax what they were asking for.

"It's been an emotional couple of weeks. We loved Thomas Cook and our customers and now we can't help them. That's been the hardest thing.

"So Donna reaching out to us has blown us away. That's community spirit at its best."

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