Mum devastated by Xmas club cash blow

A SINGLE mother-of-two could be forced to cancel Christmas after she was among dozens of staff “robbed” of a share of £30,000 following the collapse of a national savings retailer.

A SINGLE mother-of-two could be forced to cancel Christmas after she was among dozens of staff “robbed” of a share of £30,000 following the collapse of a national savings retailer.

An estimated 100 factory workers at Glemsford-based Phillips Avent are facing a bleak festive period after Christmas club retailer Farepak went into administration, plunging an estimated 200,000 people nationally into financial problems.

Kim Farmer last night said morale at the baby feeding products manufacturer had plummeted following the news - and said many had lost over £1,000 just before Christmas.

“When we were told, it was just devastating,” said Ms Farmer, who has two children, Ella, five, and Leigh, nine.


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“I am a single mum who has just lost £800. Christmas has been cancelled but how do you explain that to an eight year old?

“Everyone affected just feels like they have been robbed and there were quite a few crying at work.”

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The Department of Trade and Industry has now launched an inquiry into the collapse of Farepak and Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State, described the events as “tragic”.

Ms Farmer, who has worked as a production operative at the factory for eight years, said: “I have been part of the Christmas club for about four years and it was brilliant.

“I used to be given a white envelope just before Christmas with £800 but this year I just received a white envelope saying I would be getting nothing.

“I think some people thought the company could do more but a claim has been put in on our behalf. But this has affected so many people that I personally don't expect to hear anything.”

It is now hoped that the British Retail Consortium could make a “goodwill” gesture towards those affected but nothing has been decided.

Bosses at Avent last night declined to comment to the EADT but a statement on Farepak's website announced that joint administrators had been appointed over the assets and business of Farepak Food and Gifts Ltd.

Any updates for customers and agents affected by the administration will come via the website www.farepak.co.uk, the statement said.

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