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Boy gives back to charity after fire destroys family home in Allington near Maidstone

By Jess Sharp

Eight-year-old Humphrey Hamilton-Barnes knows what it’s like to be homeless.

Since a fire tore through his family’s house in Larking Drive, Allington in April, he has been living out of a suitcase - first in a hotel and now in temporary accommodation.

But rather than feeling sorry for himself, the remarkable Allington Primary School pupil says his situation has inspired him to raise money for children who are less fortunate.

Humphrey Hamilton-Barnes,is organising a charity football match
Humphrey Hamilton-Barnes,is organising a charity football match

His mum Emma Hamilton-Barnes, said: “We had all gone out - his brother and sister and I to the cinema and Humphrey was with his dad.

“Minutes after I left I got a call from my neighbour saying the house was on fire. It began on the patio and within minutes the windows smashed and the flames came inside.”

Humphrey lost sports equipment and his games console in the blaze, the cause of which is not known.

But while the entire house suffered smoke damage, most of the family’s possessions were salvaged. It is hoped they will be able to move back in around four months.

In the meantime, the football-mad youngster has been organising Humphrey’s Kick About, which aims to raise £375 - enough to build a playground in a developing country.

He told his mum: “We lost our house but at least we are safe, some children don’t have anything.”

Humphrey with Neil 'Razor' Ruddock at the official Soccer Aid match
Humphrey with Neil 'Razor' Ruddock at the official Soccer Aid match

It was inspired by Unicef’s Soccer Aid, which pits past legends and celebrities against each other for a fundraising match. Humphrey was in the crowd to watch as the World XI team beat England 3-1 on June 16.

In a letter addressed to his head teacher, Carolyn Howson, Humphrey wrote: “I see what a lucky boy I am to have a loving family and so many amazing friends.

“Life for me is happy. Not everybody is as lucky as me though. Children live around the world in danger and poverty everyday, some don’t have schools or anywhere safe to play. I really want to help these children.”

The tournament, open to children aged four to 11, runs at the Allington Community Association, Castle Road from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, July 7.

To book a place, £5, click here or donate click here.

Read more: For all the latest news in Maidstone

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