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Mothers join forces to help families hit by alleged South Shields travel scam

Specsavers has made a donation to help with fundraising event. From left Specsaver Gemma Dickinson, organiser Beverly Hope and Specsavers Melanie Moore
Specsavers has made a donation to help with fundraising event. From left Specsaver Gemma Dickinson, organiser Beverly Hope and Specsavers Melanie Moore

Three mothers left out of pocket by an alleged travel scam have joined forces to help other affected families.

Single mum Beverley Hope had hoped to take her son to a Butlins resort during his summer holiday.

We have had lots of support from businesses

Beverley Hope

However, after the firm, South Shields Day Trips, was suspended from operating, the pair ended up missing out.

Trouble flared for the Facebook company after a trip to Disneyland Paris was cancelled at the last minute and police were called in.

Subsequent trips were also cancelled following the police probe being launched.

Now, Beverley has joined forces with Catherine Wear and Lauren Cameron, two other mums affected, to raise cash for other families in the same boat.

They hope to one day set up a community group to organise day trips of their own.

Ms Hope, of South Shields said: “We have had lots of support from businesses keen to help us raise funds.

“We hope to be able to set up a community group which will initially be to raise funds for South Shields Day Trips victims and then will go on to organise day trips for the local community.

“The reason why we want to do this is so that people can gain trust again and we can help families who struggle with the costs of days out.”

The three mums are currently collecting prizes to be raffled off to help raise funds for the venture.

Specsavers in South Shields has already stepped forward to help with a £125 voucher, as well as Mini Cooper and West Boldon pubs the Red Lion and the Travelling Man.

Melanie Moore, manager of the King Street opticians, said: “Beverley is one of our patients, and she told us about what had happened to her and her son, as well as other families.

“When she mentioned what she was doing to help raise funds for the families affected, we were only too happy to help.”

Police have received more than 200 complaints about the travel agent.

 A 24-year-old woman and 32-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with the South Shields Day Trips inquiry and are currently on police bail pending further inquiries.