London fire: Holiday offers to Grenfell victims

Angie Mays and Kay Gilbert Image copyright Angie Mays
Image caption Kay Gilbert, right, and Angie Mays said they had been "overwhelmed" by the response to their campaign

Two friends are organising free holidays for people made homeless by the Grenfell fire, as well as emergency service workers who helped the victims.

They say they have had more than 100 offers from people with holiday accommodation in places including Cornwall, Scotland, Cyprus and Ibiza.

Other donations include counselling sessions, beauty treatments and meals.

Kay Gilbert and Angie Mays from Ilfracombe set up the Facebook campaign and said they had been "overwhelmed".

Ms Gilbert said the pair "just wanted to do something to help".

"We've had quad bike adventures, meal vouchers, photography shoots, hair cuts, beauty treatments, counselling, it's just amazing," she said.

More on the holiday offers to Grenfell victims, and other Devon news

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Fire Brigades Union said the offers of help were "wonderfully kind gestures for firefighters"

"They've been so generous, we have had so many offers."

Louise Downs, who owns a one-bed holiday flat in Ilfracombe, is backing the Grenfell Tower Holiday Appeal campaign, which was launched on Sunday.

She had already filled her flat with free stays for emergency services staff in November but has extended the offer to December and January.

"I just thought they needed a break and I've had a really good response," she said.

'Utterly courageous'

Hetty Thompson, who is offering her Bridgerule holiday let, added: "The support from those in London has been amazing, but I think it's really important for people to realise how much all our hearts around the country and the world go out to them.

"If anyone from further afield is able to offer something to help, however small, let's just do it."

Derrick Wilson of the Tabernacle Christian Centre is also supporting the campaign.

He said: "It's a brilliant idea and I'm sure it will be appreciated."

The scheme was created for residents of the tower block fire but has been extended to emergency services workers.

A Fire Brigades Union spokesperson said: "This is a wonderfully kind gesture for firefighters who have undertaken utterly courageous work in very difficult circumstances."

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