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Cornwall Hugs Grenfell began with a Facebook post, on June 20th, 2017:
' 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.'
On posting this simple vision, I promised that if 20 accommodation offers came forward, I would set about planning to make the dream a reality. Within 24 hours the wave of Cornish kindness and practical help was overwhelming. So, with some trepidation we stepped out together in faith on a journey that would bless both communities more deeply than we could ever have imagined. Within a few weeks, our first Grenfell guests arrived...
Since then, countless individuals and businesses have joined the vision, offering accommodation, activities and skills.
In October 2023 we celebrated our 500th guest on our special Walk & Talk, holiday captured here by ITV.
To date, 516 Grenfell Tower survivors, bereaved, close neighbours or firefighters have come to Cornwall for respite through the project. Over a third of all Grenfell Tower survivors have come. 250+ accommodation providers, from large operations to individual owners have pledged accommodation and 200+ businesses have offered support. Well over 1,000 individuals have been involved with organisations reporting what a life-changing experience it has been for their staff.
During the pandemic, support remained strong as we pivoted our work to provide emergency isolation accommodation for Cornish Care Workers, returning to our work with Grenfell in 2022.
Every step of the way, this project has been practically supported by immense human kindness and it feels to me, also divinely supported in every way. Encouragement and provision have come from all corners of the county and beyond. I am enormously grateful to those offering time and resource to support the vision for Grenfell and, during Covid, for Care Workers.
A huge thank you to the many volunteers who at different times since the start have supported us with skills, advice, time, experience and lots of encouragement. In particular, my thanks to our trustees, Andrew Holt, Rev Jeremy Putnam and Jac Smith. Without their support, the work would not be possible.
Thank you for taking an interest in our work.
Founder, Cornwall Hugs Grenfell
Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is part of Cornwall Hugs, registered charity 1177796.
500th guest, 84 year old
Mohamed Ragab with Esmé Page
Trustees: Jac Smith, Rev Jeremy Putnam, Esmé Page and Andrew Holt
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