England

Grenfell firefighter and family take up holiday offer

Grenfell blaze Image copyright AFP
Image caption The death toll from the fire currently stands at 80, but is expected to rise

A firefighter "utterly broken" by the Grenfell Tower blaze is to take up the offer of a free holiday with money raised by members of the public.

At least 80 people died in the fire on 14 June, although the final toll will not be known for many months.

Nearly 400 holidays have been offered by the Grenfell Tower Holiday Appeal Facebook Group, set up by Angie Mays and Kay Gilbert from Devon.

The man and his family will have a week in a cottage in Marsden, Yorkshire.

More on the holiday offer for Grenfell victims and other Devon news.

The firefighter's wife, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her husband, said: "What Kay and Angie have done from the kindness of their hearts will help so many families at such a distressing time in their lives.

"This has been the most horrific job of my husband's career and he has been utterly broken by it - as we all have - trying to support him emotionally, and trying to understand what he has been through, not to mention praying he comes home in one piece.

"Thanks to the utter kindness of these wonderful ladies and all of the generous donations to this cause, we will be able to go away for a week as a family for some much needed R&R.

"This means the world to me that I can take them away from it all, if just for a moment."

Image copyright Angie Mays
Image caption Since Kay Gilbert, right, and Angie Mays set up the appeal, they have had nearly 400 offers of holidays across the UK and abroad

Ms Mays, a fundraiser from Ilfracombe, said short-stay offers have come mainly from small businesses, B&Bs and guesthouses all over the UK, but also in Spain and Cyprus, adding that other firefighter families are also in the process of taking up offers.

Other donations include counselling sessions, beauty treatments and meals.

Separate Facebook groups have been also set up to provide holidays in Cornwall and the Highlands.

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