By Kris Jepson
Workers who were made redundant by the North East civil engineering firm Owen Pugh last week have been given advice on jobs, re-training and benefits.
Watch @krisjepson's report here:
The company went into administration last Monday and two days later made 257 of its workers redundant.
Four of its sites in Dudley, Cramlington, Blaydon and Stockton were closed by administrators after it was revealed cash flow problems in the last year have made high profile projects, like the Silverlink Roundabout, "commercially unsuccessful" for the firm.
The special surgery was organised by local Labour MP Mary Glindon.
One worker who attending the meeting was veteran soldier James Lamb.
He worked for Owen Pugh for two years as a tipper truck driver. He said the longer he is out of work, the more worrying the situation will be.
Mary Glindon MP brought in officials from Jobcentre Plus to offer support and advice.
Gary Tait is from the Department for Work and Pensions' Rapid Response team.
Thirty-nine employees remain at two of six Owen Pugh sites, but for hundreds of other former employees the challenge is now to find new jobs.
Nine of the employees remain working at the group’s head office to help administrators.
The company was founded in 1946 as a specialist in construction plant hire before branching out into wider construction and engineering work.