Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

‘Imagine if we could put a Cornish holiday on the horizon of every Grenfell resident and firefighter family: a time to rest, a time to let our beautiful county bless these people and work its gentle magic.’ So began Cornwall Hugs Grenfell. So far we've brought over 120 firefighter and Grenfell Tower guests to Cornwall on holiday including a structured group trip for 62 to Falmouth Uni campus, thanks to the University of Exeter. Another group trip is planned in Porthtowan in November and by the end of 2017 we will have welcomed 200 guests. Our work to help firefighters and survivors rest, connect and make new family memories, has been reported widely in the press, notably by Jon Snow on Channel4 News in September (see our website under 'news').

How was this possible?
Within 24 hours of going live, 100+ Cornish property owners had pledged. Now 250+ owners have pledged holiday properties or private accommodation, 80+ businesses from GWR to the Eden Project have given services and free entry. Volunteers came forward and altogether, over 1000 people in Cornwall and beyond are involved in this exciting, fast-moving and highly efficient project which enriches both communities with the love and hope it shares. Literally, it has been one enormous team-building project for Cornwall, with people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to care for those who have suffered the trauma of the fire. The project will run until 2019.

Our holidays are crafted with therapeutic elements such as singing workshops, PTSD specialised art therapy, massage and sound therapy as well as trips and water activities.

80 more families (400+ people) from the tower and evacuated blocks as well as firefighters are still registered to take one of our breaks. All guests' identities are verified to protect visitors and property owners. To turn the pledged accommodation and services into actual holidays for survivors we urgently need funds for transport and to employ an administrator.

Please help us continue to do this vital work to enable survivors to benefit from what they have called the 'natural therapy' of Cornwall's environment, to gain some distance from the daily sight of the tower and the healing and hope that our beautiful horizons can offer.

‘This generous support for London Fire Brigade staff and those affected by the tragic Grenfell Tower Fire from people across Cornwall has been overwhelming and is very much appreciated. My thanks to the organisers of 'Cornwall Hugs Grenfell' appeal which provides an opportunity for some respite in Cornwall for those affected by this devastating incident,’ Dany Cotton, London Fire Commissioner 

In our guests' own words:

‘Cornwall gave me the time and space to deal with my ‘true’ emotions. There was no more suppressing….The calm and gentle atmosphere of Cornwall encouraged me to let out the pain and take in some of the healing. Grenfell Hugs provided the right type of ‘medicine’. I will forever remember what happened to us and our devastating loss, but being in Cornwall encouraged me to recall the good memories I shared with those i lost. Especially as they loved visiting beaches and my brother collected models of boast and ships. My time in Cornwall reminded me that time is precious and allowed me to spend quality time with my family and friends both within the secure space of the Penryn campus and the various trips that had been generously planned for us. Cornwall gave me new friendships and a place I know I can go to when it all just gets too much!’

Hanan Wahabi, 39, teacher and mother of two who lived on the 9th floor of Grenfell Tower, speaking of her experience on holiday with Cornwall Hugs Grenfell and of the loss of her brother Abdelaziz and his family of five who lived on the 21st floor and tragically perished in the fire.


Project Video

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell

Moment of Pride

Our speed, efficiency, community collaboration and Grenfell and Firefighter guests' feedback.

Location: Truro