COUNTY NEWS: Man starts seaside holiday campaign for London fire victims

Kevin Page by the building with  the blue plaque for suffragette Mary Neal. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Kevin Page by the building with the blue plaque for suffragette Mary Neal. Picture: Kate Shemilt

A campaigner to memorialise West Sussex’s suffragettes is chanelling their generous spirit to organise free holidays for those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Kevin Page, who has homes in London and Church Street, Littlehampton, said he had been so ‘horrified’ by what happened that he wanted to help.

At least 30 people have died and 76 are reportedly missing after a huge inferno ripped through the Grenfell Tower block of flats in Kensington in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

He is calling for hotel and B&B owners, Arun District Council and people with spare rooms to join him in giving the victims a place to stay and spend a holiday by the sea for free in the coming months.

The pensioner is also looking to set up a fundraising page to get his idea off the ground – and wants to expand the campaign across the county if it takes off.

He said: “There are so many generous hearted people in Littlehampton that want to help; it is about the generosity of the human spirit and this is the best way we can help those people.

“It must have been a very traumatic experience that they went through.

“I just feel what has happened is so horrific and unacceptable and it should have been prevented.”

Kevin took inspiration for his idea from Mary Neal, a leading suffragette who lived in Littlehampton.

He runs the Women Pioneers of Arun group, which successfully campaigned for Mary to get a blue plaque outside the house she lived in in St Flora’s Road, Littlehampton.

He said she opened the first seaside holiday centre in East Street, Littlehampton, in 1901, offering thousands of working women a free holiday by the sea until the Second World War.

He said: “I just tried to reinvent her spirit. This is hopefully going to give people a break.”

Anyone who would like to get involved can call Kevin on 0208 590 9626.