A former STA Travel employee who now owns a gin distillery is leading fundraising efforts for the TravelCares campaign to support travel agents adversely affected by Covid-19.

Ian Spink, co-owner of Audemus Spirits, previously worked at STA and wanted to raise money for the cause after watching the company he worked for cease trading last month.

His company is giving away a trip to France, the chance to make your own gin with the team at Audemus, and a year’s supply of its flagship drink Pink Pepper Gin.

Everyone who donations, regardless of the amount, is entered into the Gin STAstic draw to win one of the prizes.

The draw for the 12 bottles of gin, and the online masterclass will be made on September 30. When the fundraising target of £6,000 is reached, the draw for the gin-making weekend trip for two to Audemus’ distillery in Cognac, with transport included, will take place. Two winners will be drawn.

So far, more than £700 has been raised in addition to the ongoing TravelCares campaign, set up by Abta LifeLine and Travel Weekly, which has drawn donations totalling more than £13,500.

Former STA Travel employee Clare de Bono, now at Amadeus, set up the fundraising page for Spink and is one of three official fundraisers for TravelCares.

Travel Counsellor Lisa Smith is running a half marathon in Conwy, Wales, in November as she hopes to raise £2,500 for the cause.

Topdeck Travel’s Susie O’Brien is cycling 874 miles over a month, the equivalent of Lands’ End to John O’Groats, and is aiming to raise £250.

She said: “Being in travel and an avid cyclist, I wanted to pledge my support to the industry, remove a few Covid calories as a result of not leaving my home office for almost six months and of course to raise awareness.

“I appreciate it is economically uncertain times, however if my endeavour can help those who require support in any small way, that’s the aim.”

Visit the TravelCares JustGiving page