top of page

PR04: First Kernow backs Cornwall Hugs Grenfell

First Kernow backs Cornwall Hugs Grenfell

Free bus and river travel for Grenfell Tower families and Firefighters this Summer

Responding immediately to a plea last week by Cornwall Hugs Grenfell for local transport, First Kernow is offering free bus passes to the 100+ Grenfell Tower survivors and firefighters now booked to visit Cornwall this year on the different holidays offered by the initiative.

Alex Carter, managing director, First Kernow, handed over the family bus passes to Cornwall Hugs Grenfell founder, Esmé Page, in Falmouth where she was meeting with the university to finalise plans for the group holiday later in August. The 40+ Grenfell Tower survivors now booked on the Falmouth holiday will also receive Mussel cards from Fal River enabling them to enjoy the freedom of the river, in addition to unlimited travel on Cornwall’s local buses.

‘This is First Class gift in every way and comes at just the right moment,’ said Esmé Page, ‘Most Grenfell survivors don’t have a car so this really opens up the County to them. Our first guests are already in Cornwall and will be using their passes this week. I’m imagining the children on an open top bus with the wind in their hair, enjoying a family day out and making new memories in all our Cornish beauty spots. It’s what the project’s all about and First Kernow’s gift is a key part in making the vision a reality!’

‘When we heard about Cornwall Hugs Grenfell we immediately wanted to help,’ said Alex Carter, managing director of First Kernow, ‘The work that Esmé and the team at Cornwall Hugs Grenfell are doing is incredibly admirable and it’s fantastic to see the Cornwall community come together to welcome the survivors to our county with open arms. What they have been through is unimaginably distressing, but we hope that the generosity from everyone across Cornwall can make a difference. There’s so much to see and do in Cornwall, it’s our pleasure to help them get around, make the most of their time here and create great memories that will last a lifetime.’

So far Cornwall Hugs Grenfell has booked holidays for 20 firefighter and Grenfell Tower families in properties donated generously by individual owners in Cornwall. In the last ten days the project also booked a further 9 families on to its set departure group holiday which takes place at the end of August on Falmouth University campus, thanks to a kind donation by Falmouth University and the University of Exeter. In total 100+ guests will visit Cornwall through the project this year and the number is rising daily.

‘We’ve had a great response on the ground in Kensington,’ said Esmé Page, ‘There are new sign-ups every day and the Grenfell residents tell us they are so relieved to know they can get away for a change of scenery and some rest. We need more availability to meet demand so would welcome all new accommodation pledges via our website.’

Join the Vision

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is calling for restaurants, cafés, further attractions and local cab companies to join the 20+ other businesses who have pledged vouchers for the guests. Organisations can pledge support through the ‘Businesses: can you help? button on the website at or

Accommodation providers should pledge using the Accommodation Providers: pledge here’ button. Individual gifts can be made via the Just Giving page ‘Cornwall Hugs Grenfell Phase 2’.

London Connections?

To complete the last piece of the holiday puzzle, Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is looking for a London Cab Company to pledge free transfers to and from Paddington to make the journey easier, particularly for those with little children. ‘If you have London connections or use a specific London cab company, please ask them or tweet them for support - I’m sure if they know what we’re doing one of them will step forward to help,’ appealed Esmé Page.

Businesses that have pledged so far (who are happy to be named) include:

Bedruthan Hotel - dinner for a family

Big Green Surf School - lessons

Bodmin & Wenford Railway - trips

Cornish Bird in the Sticks - logo and artwork

Eden Project - free entry

Explore in Cornwall - free sight-seeing trips

Fal River - free Mussel cards for river travel

First Kernow - free family bus passes

Jelberts Ice-cream - free large cones

Kernow Adventure Park - wipe-out sessions

Kingsurf Surf School - surf lessons

Mullion Glass Studio & Workshop - lessons

Ocean High - SUP lessons

Perranporth surf school - surf lessons

Rumbles 2 - printing

St Michael's Mount - free entry

Tate St Ives - free entry

The Lost Gardens of Heligan -free entry

The Pandora Inn - dinner for a family

The Red Hand Gang - kids’ entertainment

The Travellers rest Pub - dinner

Plymouth Citybus - coach and bus travel

Follow us on twitter @Cornwallhugs.

Like us on Facebook at Cornwall Hugs Grenfell.


Image: Alex Carter, First Group and Esmé Page

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell designed pro bono by Cornish Bird in the Sticks



Esme Page: Tel: 07803 594285 Email

Note to editors:

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is a voluntary organisation set up by Esmé Page with the vision, ‘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.’ It is set to run until 2019.

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell logo
bottom of page