Lee Kemp, Habinteg tenant for over 12 years at Bransholme in Hull, died of cancer aged 39 in April this year. The Guardian newspaper has celebrated Lee’s life and career in an obituary published on Wednesday 15th June.
Actor, disability rights campaigner, Hull City FC supporters’ liaison committee member and ‘Crippendale’ stripper, Lee supported Habinteg’s work when he appeared in the final project produced by the Housing Corporation before they became the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) in 2008. Open: Stories of lives transformed by affordable homes was an art installation by photographer Tim Wainwright, resulting in a publication, exhibitions in London and Manchester and a launch event at the Houses of Parliament.
Tim interviewed social housing tenants from around the country to record their housing experiences in audio and photographic form. In Lee’s story, he spoke about changes to his life after he became a wheelchair user and the importance of having a home on a housing scheme that was built to a general accessibility standard and could support his busy lifestyle. Lee spoke colourfully and fondly about his roots in Hull and the local community.
Habinteg would like to pay tribute to Lee’s life, vibrancy and his lasting contribution as a disability campaigner. Lee pushed boundaries through his career and a fair few in his day to day life. A force to be reckoned with in the most positive sense, a true gentleman, charmer and humourist, Lee has been credited by the Guardian as able to ‘change society one laugh at a time.’
The Guardian's obituary appeared in Society and was written by a journalist who had accompanied him whilst filming a documentary about his dance troupe, The Crippendales.
Image copyright Tim Wainwright