Travel agents shocked by the death of a colleague following an alleged knife attack have set up a page to raise funds for her family.
Cassie Hayes was allegedly attacked in the Southport branch of TUI shortly before 1.25pm on Saturday.
TravelWireNews Chatroom for Readers (join us)
The 28-year-old, from Alnwick, Northumberland, was working in the store at the time. A 30-year-old man, from St Helens, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Ms Hayes’ colleagues in the travel industry have been shocked by her death. A Gofundme page has been set up to raise money for her family to use “as they see fit”.
Bruce Martin, from Travel Group, founded the page. More than £3,000 has been raised in under a day.
In tribute, he wrote: “Everyone who works in travel has been deeply upset about what has happened to a fellow travel colleague, Cassie Hayes, in Southport on Saturday 13th January.
“Cassie was the assistant manager at the TUI store and was well-known to many in travel.
“Many of us never met Cassie but we *know* that if we did, we would have thought she was great. We know, because we are travel.”
Friends added their own tributes.
Laura Thomas wrote: “Still in shock. Beautiful girl inside and out. Thoughts are with Leah and Ruby, all Cassie’s family and her colleagues. Sleep tight Cass. We will all look after your girls for you xx.”
Ryan McDonald’s post said he is in shock at losing his friend.
He added: “She was softly spoken with that cheeky Geordie accent, always smiling, and the way she loved our niece was truly amazing.”
Julie Lavender wrote: “I didn’t know you but this has touched everyone who works for TUI. My thoughts are with your family, friends and colleagues. R.I.P Cassie xx.”
Floral tributes to Cassie – who is believed to have moved from Alnwick to Merseyside 11 years ago – have been left near the shop in Southport, which remained under police cordon on Sunday morning.
In a statement released on Saturday, a TUI spokeswoman said: “We regret to confirm that a female member of staff at our Southport TUI retail store tragically died in an incident today.
“We send our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the staff member involved. We’re doing everything possible to assist the local police with their investigation and support our customers and staff at this difficult time.”
Anyone with details is urged to contact Merseyside Police on 101 quoting log 470 of January 13 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.