We were delighted to be a part of a very special event recently arranged by the Cornwall Hugs Grenfell charity. Here's the official word...
Cornwall Hugs Grenfell
The charity Cornwall Hugs Grenfell (#1177796) joined with 30+ Grenfell Tower survivors and the bereaved in Kensington, to celebrate the two far-flung communities’ ‘special relationship’, with gifts of Cornish pasties and hand-made patchwork quilts.
Over 350 people affected by the fire have now taken respite holidays in Cornwall through the charity and past and future guests came together for the ‘pasty & quilt’ event.
This took place on the eve of the 18 month anniversary of Britain’s worst post-war fire, which claimed 72 lives on June 14th 2017. Cornwall Hugs’ team of three and survivors then met up again on December 14th to attend the Silent Walk of remembrance. On the walk members of the charity bore a new solidarity image in iconic Grenfell green, ‘Cornwall & Kensington, Paddling on together in 2019.’ This was created specially by illustrator Jon Stubbington to underline the West Country’s continued commitment to the Grenfell Community.
Pasties and Quilts bring Cornwall to Kensington
100 pasties including ‘traditional’, ‘Christmas’, veggie and vegan were donated by the West Cornwall Pasty Company and hand-delivered, piping hot in time for the quilt selection at the Grenfell United space in Kensington. Over 50 unique, patchwork quilts by South West Quilters, each representing over 100 hours needlework, were laid out for guests to choose from. Each quilt bore the name of the creator and their home town or village, giving survivors a real sense of connection with the West Country community, 300 miles away.
‘‘It has made my day to know the people of Cornwall have sent us so much love in this way,’ one gentleman survivor, Shah, told me, and these hand-made quilts really do bring a clear message of ongoing solidarity from the West Country,’ says founder, Esmé Page. ‘They are also the perfect way to personalise new accommodation or brighten up simple hotel rooms - some of our guests are spending their second Christmas in emergency accommodation, 18 months after the fire!’
Masda Metalsi, mother of two who lived on the 9th floor and took a respite holiday in Newlyn in 2017 said, ‘We know there’s love in every stitch. When I wrap it around me I really do feel, Cornwall hugs Grenfell!’ Mouna El Ogbani, mother of three (11th floor) and Grenfell United committee member, who visited Mousehole in May this year said, ‘We feel all the love the ladies put into making these quilts for us and today, with these pasties and quilts we’ve reached a lot of people who didn’t have a chance to come to Cornwall yet.’
‘There’s nothing quite like a Cornish pasty to take you back to Cornwall!’ says Esme. ‘In fact, pasties have played a huge part on our Grenfell group holidays with literally thousands being gobbled up, especially after energetic days on the water!’ She continues. ‘We were thrilled when West Cornwall Pasty Company and Rowes Bakery immediately offered to refresh survivors’ holiday memories with such an iconic Cornish flavour.’
‘There was a lovely family atmosphere here today and for those of us who’ve been to Cornwall the pasties brought back memories of the times we tried them on holiday,’ said Mouna El Ogbani.
Sonia Hebrard, Brand Manager, West Cornwall Pasty Co commented, "We are delighted to have been able to bring a real taste of Cornwall to the quilt selection. Each one of our pasties are made in West Cornwall by Rowes bakery and hand crimped to seal in deliciously Cornish flavours. We're so pleased to extend a warm, hearty Cornish hug in a pasty to everyone who attended and hope that we have helped spread a sprinkle of golden Cornish goodness on this important anniversary"