As Kensington residents snub Grenfell victims, communities 300 miles away are opening their arms

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St._Ives_-_Altstadt_mit_Hafen.jpg
Emily Apple

A group in Cornwall is stepping up to support Grenfell residents and firefighters. ‘Cornwall Hugs Grenfell’ is organising offers of free holidays for those affected by the tragedy. It shows how practical solidarity and kindness can be shown even from places hundreds of miles away.

It’s also a huge contrast to the lack of compassion shown by some Kensington residents who have been complaining about Grenfell victims being rehoused near them.

Pledges

In just two days, over 100 holidays have been pledged. The original post on the group’s Facebook page states:

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 continues:

There are nearly 30,000 holiday homes in Cornwall and tourism is a vibrant part of our economy. There were 120 households in Grenfell Tower and 200+ firefighters. My dream is that we could offer a holiday to all who wish it. Some may have a holiday home to offer, some may have £, some may have ‘connections’ or simply words of support.

People can also pledge money towards travel and other costs as part of the project.

Success

In fact, the project has now been so successful that Visit Cornwall, the tourist board, offered to liaise between different groups. Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall, stated:

Cornwall is famous for its holidays. There are many people in London who are doing a lot for this but this is the most appropriate thing that Cornwall could offer.

And as the Cornwall Hugs Grenfell page points out:

Most of us can’t be on the streets of Kensington supporting the community with necessities. But we do have our county to share. In loss and after trauma, a holiday can be a key time of peace – a chance for children to create new memories and even take the first steps towards healing. Knowing a holiday is on the horizon could give a sense of hope amid the immediate strain, stress and grief.

This is a beautiful initiative finding practical ways to offer help from the other end of the country. As one Facebook commenter wrote, perhaps celebrity chefs like Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver – who have made large amounts of money from Cornwall – will now add to the initiative by offering free meals.

The number of second homes and holiday cottages is a major problem for local residents in Cornwall, who are affected by spiralling house prices and rents. But to see so many people coming together to help Grenfell residents and firefighters is inspiring and should be a lesson to us all. Especially to some residents in Kensington, who are complaining that they’ll have to live next door to the victims.

Get Involved!

– Support Cornwall Hugs Grenfell.

Featured image via Sophia Akram and Wikimedia.

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