A fundraising page set up in memory of Hays Travel founder John Hays has passed £25,000 in donations.

The GoFundMe page was set up following the sudden death of the agency’s managing director on November 13, with funds going to the Hays Travel Foundation.

The foundation was set up by John and Irene Hays in 2015 and has since donated more than £950,000 to good causes.

It said it works “with organisations that support people, who for one reason or another, need a bit of help to achieve their potential. We chose young people as our focus and the foundation works hard to create opportunities for youngsters to be the best that they can be”.

On Wednesday last week, residents of Sunderland lined the streets to pay tribute to Hays ahead of his funeral, while landmarks around the city were also lit in Hays Travel colours.

Hays was given the freedom of the city in 2016 for his services to the community.