A SINGLE mum-of-two who was due to start back in work on Monday has been left stranded in Florida by the volcanic ash cloud – and could remain there until at least next Friday.
Rachel Parry and sons Lewis, eight, and Morgan, three, left for a three-week holiday of a lifetime at the end of March with her dad David James and his wife Elaine.
The 29-year-old from Johnstown was due to return to work as a teaching assistant at Johnstown Infant School on Monday, but has now been told she will probably remain in the US until April 30 at the earliest.
Mum Judi Birnie said her daughter was growing increasingly concerned due to the fact her paid holiday leave ended at the beginning of the week.
She said: “I’ve spoken to the headmistress and her job is safe, but obviously she is not going to get paid.
“It’s a worry because she’s losing valuable earnings. It will be hard on her as she is a single mother.”
The stranded group have been told that the earliest opportunity they will have to fly back is likely to be the end of next week due to the chaos brought on by the ash.
Judi said: “They have now had communication to say the next available flight won’t be until April 30 – there is due to be one on Thursday (tomorrow) but that is full because there are people already booked on that flight.
“There’s not really any alternative – they’ve been put up in a bed and breakfast hotel, but all other meals they will have to pay for.
“I’m concerned for her. She is really fed up.”
Sister Kate Roberts and friend Kerry Hogg have now set up a Facebook group called Free Rachel Parry from Florida in a bid to raise awareness of Rachel’s situation. As of yesterday, the group had 70 members.
An estimated 150,000 Britons have been stranded overseas as a result of the flight restrictions.
See full story in the Leader