Families left heartbroken after holidays they booked via Facebook fell through were given a day out to remember - thanks to kind-hearted businesses.
Children and parents were invited to The Dunes on South Shields seafront after one of the distraught mums rallied round to ensure they still had a fun summer holidays.
Julie Johnson, 37, mum to Chantel Swindon, 16, and Tyler Swindon, 10, began to call businesses throughout South Tyneside when her family missed out on five breaks she had paid for.
The South Shields Day Trips Facebook page is under investigation by Northumbria Police.
A 24-year-old woman and 32-year-old man are both on bail pending further inquiries after they were arrested on suspicion of fraud.
Liam Connor, marketing manager at The Dunes, said he had been given the go-ahead to put on yesterday’s party for 150 people by director Kenneth Reader after hearing of the plight of the families.
Liam Connor, marketing manger of The Dunes
Older children were given tokens to use in the neighbouring Ocean Beach by its bosses, while Hopscotch Entertainment provided characters to appear at the celebration.
Liam said: “We were shocked at what happened and we wanted to give them a day out.
“It’s never going to replace Disneyland, but it’s given them something that would have cost them £20 or £30 for their children at the Dunes and Ocean Beach.”
Julie added: “I just felt sorry for a lot of the other parents and wanted to do something.
“The Dunes was the first to get back in touch. They’ve been fantastic, absolutely amazing – and so has Ocean Beach.”
Among those to join in the party were Claire Mann, 25, from Jarrow, and her children Katie, seven, and Jake Smith, four.
They were due to go to Butlin’s in Bognor Regis.
Claire said: “It’s been great for the kids and it’s been good for us all to come together.”