ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for 70 years. ABTA LifeLine is ABTA�s charity set up in 1988 to help travel colleagues when they need it most. It has been a very difficult 12 months in the travel industry. First the failure of Superbreak, followed by the collapse of Thomas Cook, then Covid-19. Thousands of jobs continue to be lost. As furlough unwinds, companies restructure and more companies fail, further redundancies will come. This has never been more an important a time for LifeLine.
Being a tiny benevolent charity the challenges are immense, trying to meet the demand for support in a timely manner, developing our services to provide the right help at the right time, and trying to raise income from a shrinking sector, with little other funding available. But the challenges have been met. 1300 former Thomas Cook staff alone benefited from crisis grants; food vouchers, help with rent, mortgage, and priority bills. New services were set up to provide expert debt, benefit, and housing advise as well as wellbeing support. We significantly increased our income.
We will continue to reflect, review, adapt and develop our support throughout 2020 as our industry requires.