PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 July 2017
David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
Appeal started by Ilfracombe friends sees offers flood in from all over the UK and as far away as New Zealand.
Two Ilfracombe mums who said they were brought to tears by last month’s Grenfell Tower fire have managed to source more than 400 free holidays for those affected by the tragedy.
Friends Angie Mays and Kay Gilbert launched the Grenfell Tower Holiday Appeal Facebook page just days after the horrific blaze on June 14.
Pledges began to flood in from generous businesses in North Devon but they have since seen offers of holiday homes, B&Bs, hotels, days out and restaurant vouchers come in from all over the UK – and as far away as France, Spain, Turkey and even New Zealand.
Angie said various holidays had already been book for firefighters, and businesses were still getting in touch on a daily basis to lend their support.
Yesterday (Thursday), Angie was able to tell Prince Charles about the appeal during his visit to Barnstaple Pannier Market.
“We are both mothers and were moved to tears at the thought of the sheer terror the residents must have felt,” she said.
“The kindness of our community has surpassed our expectations, and we are so grateful for their support.”
At least 80 people are believed to have died in the fire in the 24-storey tower block in north Kensington.
“We anticipate that the holidays won’t be taken up straight away by the residents, as the trauma is still too raw, and they have far more urgent things to deal with,” added Angie.
“However, when they do come we can guarantee our wonderful community, and to other destinations, they will be welcomed with open arms, and be given some nice memories to start rebuilding their lives with.”
The friends have also organised a Holiday Appeal Party at Ilfracombe cocktail bar Vivid, on Friday July 28, from 9pm-2am.
Entry is £5 on the door and all proceeds will go to the appeal. For more information, look for the Grenfell Tower holiday Appeal page on Facebook.