Thomas Cook Children's Charity to close

The Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, which has distributed millions of pounds to good causes in recent years, is to close after the demise of its associated travel companies.

The Thomas Cook group of travel companies went into compulsory liquidation in September, casting significant doubt over the future of the charity.

The majority of the charity’s income was linked to the activities of Thomas Cook and its associated companies, mainly through customer donations and payroll giving from Thomas Cook employees.

The charity, which was registered with the Charity Commission in 2002, gave grants to charities and voluntary groups worth more than £4m between 2015 and 2018, financial records show.

A statement on the charity’s Facebook page last week said the charity intended to close in early 2020.

"While this may initially seem like a sad moment upon reading this announcement, the trustees would like to highlight to everyone that the charity has been able to support so many truly amazing projects over the years and as a result has had a positive impact on many young lives," it said.

"The legacy of the charity will live on in those projects and the lives of the children that have been improved as a result of the grants that were awarded. This is not a sad day but a day to celebrate and be proud of how much was achieved and the inspiring stories that can be shared."

The statement said the charity was in the process of working through final grant applications and it looked forward to sharing news on social media over the coming weeks of some of the projects it has been able to support.

"We would like to assure all concerned that the charity will continue to carry out its aims and objectives and honour the promises that have been made to our partners, supporters and beneficiaries over the coming weeks," the statement concluded.

The charity’s most recent accounts, for 2018, were filed with the Charity Commission last month. They say the charity, which had an income of £887,488 and spending of £1.2m, had slightly more than £700,000 of funds available at the end of the year.

The accounts do not say how many employees the charity has, but point out that staff costs are recharged to the charity from Thomas Cook UK and include the time involved in providing either support to the governance of the charity or support services to charitable activities by employees.

Total expenditure on staff salaries amounted to £57,419 in 2018, the accounts say.

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