A Cornish charity set up to help the survivors and firefighters from the Grenfell fire tragedy is now helping care workers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Cornwall Hugs was set up to provide free holidays in Cornwall, matching people in need with holiday homes. Since the project began:
Over 480 Grenfell Tower survivors, bereaved, close neighbours or firefighters have now come on holiday to Cornwall through the project. Over a third of all tower survivors have come. 250+ accommodation providers, from large operations to individual owners have pledged accommodation and 200+ businesses have pledged support.
Now, with holidays suspended due to the coronavirus, the charity is turning its attention to local care workers, enabling them to work safely and to self isolate away from their families when needed.
Sleeping in a car
In April, Cornwall Hugs became aware of a care worker sleeping in a car in order to avoid putting her family at risk. The charity asked if anyone could help, and within five hours had sorted accommodation for her:
'Can you help get this care-worker out of her car and into a bed?' we asked. 5 hours later she's moving into a donated flat, she can self-isolate from vulnerable loved ones & finally SLEEP! Bravo #Cornwall and THANK YOU! #COVID_19uk 💙#OneForAll a #GoodFriday!👏 pic.twitter.com/od0IthrT7F
— CornwallHugs (@CornwallHugs) April 10, 2020
Nicole, a social care worker in Penzance, stated:
If it wasn’t for you, I would be sleeping in my car again tonight. Instead I am going to be able to get a comfortable night’s sleep in a bed
Following this success, it’s announced an appeal for emergency accommodation for care workers across Cornwall:
Can you help Cornwall’s Care Workers self-isolate?
Many Cornish Care Workers need emergency, temporary accommodation.
The brilliant @CornwallHugs are creating a register of EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATION offers for Cornish Care Workers.
— Emmie Kell (@emmiekell) May 8, 2020
But Cornwall Hugs also stressed that the funding for this project is separate to its Grenfell work and that Grenfell survivors still remain at the forefront of its thoughts:
Dear #Grenfell friends, #Cornwall misses you. During #Covid_19 we've begun a separately funded project to help local Care Workers with emergency accommodation so they can protect their families https://t.co/ggo2PqpBWH. We're thinking of you & look fwd to see you in the future 💚 pic.twitter.com/R02ZlQI60Z
— CornwallHugs (@CornwallHugs) May 7, 2020
There are 15,000 care workers in Cornwall and the project aims to help those who are unable to self-isolate:
There are 15K Care Workers in #Cornwall but NO provision for them to isolate to protect their families. We've created a portal for empty holiday lets to offer (free or at cost) & carers to register. Pls RT & #showwecare #Frontliners #WeCare #coronavirus https://t.co/ggo2PqpBWH pic.twitter.com/2gpXr6zAD4
— CornwallHugs (@CornwallHugs) May 8, 2020
And it has already had some early successes:
Fantastic to see Cornish #LivingWage employer Martha’s Orchard offering their “locked-down” holiday lodges to local care workers that need a place to self-isolate in safety, away from home@LivingWageUK @jg243 @PenroseCare @VC_B2B @CornwallCouncil @CornwallHugs @scottmann4NC https://t.co/VEkJ7D69D4
— Living Wage Kernow (@KernowLW) May 11, 2020
The pandemic is bringing out the best in many people with mutual aid groups across the country supporting their neighbours. And this project is a fantastic example of how communities can come together and help each other through this crisis.
Moreover, it’s through projects such as mutual aid groups and charities such as Cornwall Hugs that we can work through this crisis with compassion and solidarity. And the more of us that respond in this way, the better our chances of building better, stronger alternatives that will outlive the pandemic.
Featured image via Emily Apple and Cornwall Hugs
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