A Bradford mum has told of her delight and relief after her daughter was finally granted a passport – just two days before a family holiday.
Rachael Delaney, of Queensbury, admitted she was “dizzy” with worry after several calls to the Home Office this week proved fruitless.
Six weeks ago she had submitted an application to renew her five-year-old daughter Zara’s passport – which was due to expire in July – ahead of the family’s first break for two years. It should take three weeks for a renewed passport to arrive.
But it still hadn’t arrived yesterday, and pregnant Rachael, her partner Craig and their two children, Zara and nine-year-old Keira, were worried they would miss out on a £2,500 holiday to Cyprus that starts on Sunday.
However, yesterday morning Rachael rang the Telegraph & Argus and, within a couple of hours – and with help from Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe – she had received a phone call from the passport office in Durham.
The 33-year-old was told she could pick Zara’s passport up today, between 12.30pm and 1pm, from the office in Durham.
“Thank you to the Telegraph & Argus and to Gerry Sutcliffe for all the help,” said Rachael, who added: “I can relax. I am feeling a lot better and relieved – I’m over the moon. We can concentrate on planning the holiday and getting the summer clothes out.”
Holistic and beauty therapist Rachael and electrician Craig, who are both self-employed, had been saving hard for the holiday.
“Money has been tight,” said Rachael. “That is why it is the first family holiday in two years.”
Speaking before the good news, Rachael said: “I am feeling absolutely rubbish. My daughters have been telling their friends at school about the holiday. It is so frustrating because I cannot do anything. I’ve got my phone next to me 24 hours a day.”
Rachael slammed the customer service standards of the passport office and said she had called them several times. She added she was told to expect a call back, which never came.
Labour MP Mr Sutcliffe said he had seen a rise in people experiencing passport problems, including some being told to simply cancel their holiday.
The Home Office did not comment.