FORMER Thomas Cook workers volunteered to help customers in Greenock whose holidays were cancelled after the collapse of world’s oldest travel firm.

The ex-employees, who worked in the town's Oak Mall branch, were devastated by the news of the company's demise and upset that Thomas Cook did not give them the chance to open their store to help their customers.

So they set up their own 'pop-in' shop at Nicolson's Bar and Kitchen in Bruce Street yesterday afternoon and worked for free to help customers make their compensation claims.

A Facebook post shared online by branch manager Jacqueline McDougall and assistant manager Michelle Burns said: "It’s now nearly two weeks on since we received the devastating news of the demise of our company and we are all still feeling the pain both for ourselves and our customers.

"We were unfortunately never given the opportunity by Thomas Cook to open our store to help anyone who has lost their holidays.

"This is something that each and every one of us wanted to do.

"As you are probably well aware...customers will be able to start the process through the CAA to make their claims.

"We are aware this could be a daunting and confusing process for some, so as a thank-you for all your support over the years, myself, Jacqueline McDougall, Claire McGowan and Edwina Scollay - we also have Kim Paul and Ali Allison from our Largs store along with us - would like to volunteer our help."

The former workers thanked Nicolson's for allowing them to use their premises to help their customers.

Michael Frizzel, who runs Nicolson's Bar and Kitchen with his father Tommy, said they were keen to help.

He said: "We are happy to be supporting the girls in what they are trying to do for the people who have been affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

"We wanted to support them as best as we can, even just to give them a nice environment where they could sit and have a quiet talk to customers to help them get their money back."

There was good news for the axed workers yesterday when it was announced that Hays Travel had snapped up all of Thomas Cook's 555 UK shops, including the Oak Mall branch.

It's understood it will reopen soon under its new owners.