Solidarity for Grenfell still strong, 300 Miles Away
Cornish School Children, Firefighters and RNLI Go Green for the 2nd anniversary of Grenfell Tower Fire
Pensans Primary School, Green Watch, Penzance Community Fire Station and RNLI Penlee Lifeboat joined the charity Cornwall Hugs Grenfell to go Green in solidarity ahead of the 2nd anniversary of Grenfell Tower Fire, which claimed the lives of 72 people on June 14th 2017. The charity is encouraging schools and organisations everywhere to join Grenfell United’s initiative Green For Grenfell Day, which runs June 14-28.
Wearing green, including Grenfell United shirts depicting the iconic green Grenfell heart and slogan ‘Forever in our hearts,’ the pupils and firefighters and Cornwall Hugs Grenfell were welcomed by Coxswain Patch Harvey on board Penlee Lifeboat. They gathered to remember the 72 people who died, to stand in solidarity with those affected and to celebrate the community spirit which flourished after the tragedy, both in London and the furthest corners of the UK.
This show of solidarity comes on the back of a special relationship which has blossomed between Cornwall and Kensington through Cornwall Hugs Grenfell’s work since the fire. ’We are constantly being told how divided we are as as society,’ said Esmé Page, ‘But here are two communities hundreds of miles apart, with all kinds of apparent differences, bonding and supporting each other solidly ,over two years.’ CHG has brought over 400 survivors, bereaved and firefighters to Cornwall for respite since the fire and more guests are booked in for the coming Summer.
‘More than ever now, Grenfell survivors need our solidarity,’ said Esmé Page,‘They’re fighting on all our behalf for safer housing, for flammable cladding to be removed from tower blocks and for an independent social housing regulator. By standing in solidarity in this way, we’re saying ‘we’re still with you’. In a small way, we are boosting their voice.’
Year 5 and 6 children from Pensans Primary School, Penzance went Green last year for Green for Grenfell Day and will do so again this. Grenfell United has set a two week window for schools to ‘go Green’, 14-28 June and schools packs are available via: www.grenfellunited.org.uk/greenforgrenfell
This year’s nation-wide Green For Grenfell Day assembly pack includes the video of Cornwall Hugs’ Song of Solidarity, ‘’Grenfell From Today’, by Philip Stopford, filmed with survivors in Cornwall and London. The Pensans children were moved by the film, showing great empathy for their peers in London, 300 miles away, ‘I think we should show respect and loyalty to these people who have lost their homes, everything,’ said Perran, Year 6. ‘It made me feel sad, because I would hate to be separated from my parents for life.’ The song video directed by Paul Caddis and sung by Truro Cathedral Choir Choristers can be seen here: www.cornwallhugsgrenfell.org/grenfell-from-today
Scarlet, also Year 6, spoke of her vivid memories of watching the news in 2017, ‘It made me upset, because losing people is really upsetting. I sat up and watched the whole thing on the news.’
Esmé Page reflected on the continued impact of Grenfell Tower Fire on children, ’It is clear, two years on, that Grenfell Tower Fire is etched on the memories of a whole generation of children right across the Uk. I think Green For Grenfell Day is a powerful initiative, not only in helping them explore solidarity and the positive legacy of community spirit but also in giving a forum for this ‘Post-Grenfell generation’ to make sense of what they saw, and the causes behind it.’
Penlee Lifeboat, a key partner of Cornwall Hugs Grenfell has welcomed nearly 40 of the charity’s Grenfell guests and last May organised a memorial at sea for survivors to remember their loved ones. ‘It’s been a privilege to team up with Cornwall Hugs Grenfell and welcome so many Grenfell survivors on board. We’re proud to ‘Go Green’ - to stand shoulder to shoulder with Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, Grenfell United, the local firefighters and the children and show our solidarity.’ said Coxswain, Patch Harvey.
Green Watch, Penzance Community Fire-station, which also welcomed firefighters from North Kensington Fire Station for respite in 2017, joined the school children and lifeboat crew to show their continued support of the Grenfell community.
Note to editors:
Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is part of Cornwall Hugs (#1177796) and was started by Esmé Page on June 20th 2017 with a Facebook post, ‘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.’ Since then 425 guests have come to Cornwall for respite through the project, including survivors, the bereaved, displaced neighbours and firefighters. The charity has received 300+ pledges of holiday accommodation and is supported by over 250 businesses as well as by individuals, choirs and churches throughout Cornwall and beyond.
Esmé Page via firstname.lastname@example.org 07803 594 285
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