01 Nov

LifeLine Director urges trade to support charity all year round

ABTA LifeLine Director, Trudie Clements, has urged the travel industry to pledge their support for LifeLine all year round – by signing up to the charity’s £2 per employee pledge.

The call came at ABTA’s Travel Convention, where it was revealed that fundraising efforts from the LifeLine cycle ride, a raffle, an auction and a donation from Royal Caribbean had raised £34,000.

While this is a fantastic achievement, Trudie says this should only be the beginning of the fundraising efforts by the travel industry.

“ABTA LifeLine is there for people at the hardest times in their lives – whether that’s financial assistance whilst someone is on long term sick, vital debt advice or counselling support after a bereavement or relationship breakdown. The charity provides timely support to help people get through these difficult moments, and many more, but we can only do that if the funds are there.

“It’s been great seeing the enthusiasm and support for LifeLine over the last few days, and my thanks goes to all of those involved; we now need to see that commitment to the cause extend beyond the Convention. We are here for your people, and we need you to be here for us.”

ABTA LifeLine is asking companies to donate the equivalent of £2 per employee. For example, if a business has 10 employees, it would donate £20, if a company has 2,000 employees, it would donate £4,000. 

Businesses already signed up to ABTA’s £2 per employee appeal include TUI, easyJet holidays, Blue Bay Travel, Kuoni, G Adventures, Seabourn, and Dawson and Sanderson. 

Added Trudie: “We know that times are tough for personal finances right now and this makes individual giving and fundraising much more difficult, which is why we’re really keen for members to get involved via corporate giving through the £2 per employee appeal. The money will be used to support those who are in serious need and help people through the toughest times in their lives.”

Members interested in supporting the appeal can email lifeline@abtalifeline.org.uk for more information. 

Some of the ways LifeLine supports colleagues 

  • Emergency support – voucher to buy essential household essentials and groceries
  • Crisis grants - in exceptional circumstances for a short period to help with priority bills including rent, mortgage, council tax and utility bills
  • Energy vouchers – (pre-payment meters) for heating, lighting and cooking
  • Debt, benefit, budgeting and housing advice – through Citizen Advice Manchester. Important financial advice, helping our beneficiaries manage their bills
  • Counselling and wellbeing support – through The Centre for Crisis Psychology
  • Essential household appliances – fridges, cookers, washing machines etc.
  • Funerals – essential costs where no state help is available
  • Essentials for children – school uniform, shoes, IT equipment etc.

Case study from a LifeLine applicant – how LifeLine is supporting those in need

“My passion at a young age was to travel and I started this dream by becoming cabin crew back in 1989 with AIRTOURS International airways and then worked in different roles in the travel sector. In 2016 I was diagnosed HIV Positive. My world was shattered and felt so alone. As time went on, I noticed I had started to find the job impossible with the medications I was taking, and this affected my mental health. 

“Then in November 2021, I had an accident on the tube fracturing my right tibia, fibular and twisted my ankle.  At hospital they inserted a pin from my knee down through my bone to hold the bone together and plates and screws all over my right lower leg and ankle. I am still in recovery. I did try to go back to work but I had a breakdown as I just could not cope. The constant pain that I'm in has caused my anxiety and depression to flare up. I started having awful thoughts of what’s the point in carrying on.

“As winter kicked in, I was just starting to get my benefits of £77 a week and the energy prices soared. I had nowhere to turn. I had already relied heavily on my elderly parents. My gas bill alone was £60 per week on a prepayment meter.  Now I had another worry on my mind, the choice of heating or eating. So I contacted ABTA LifeLine. 

“I was immediately made to feel at ease when I spoke to them. As cheesy as it sounds, the name LifeLine is just what the charity has been to me.  LifeLine provided me with energy and food vouchers as winter set in and the temperature dropped. They also supported me getting a new freezer, which was invaluable as I was able to freeze food and save money on food costs.

“I don’t know what would have happened without the support of LifeLine. My mental health is slowly improving, and this charity has played a very special part in my recovery.”


About ABTA LifeLine

ABTA LifeLine is ABTA’s charity for past and present employees of ABTA Members. The charity provides support for the unexpected moments in life such as redundancy, relationship breakdown, accidents and bereavement among many other things.

It gives practical, financial and emotional assistance to travel colleagues that are really struggling, throwing them a LifeLine in their time of need. 

About ABTA

ABTA is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest travel trade body, with over 4,600 travel brands in membership who have a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards and build a more sustainable travel industry, and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.

Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to agreed service standards and fair trading. When you need clear travel information, and accurate and impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you. We’ll help you understand your level of financial protection, and what to do next, in the unlikely event that an ABTA member goes out of business. So, whatever happens, when you book with an ABTA member, reliable advice comes as standard. This means that booking with our members brings peace of mind. Together with our members, we help you travel with confidence. www.abta.com