Boy who lost loved ones in Grenfell visits Cornwall as charity reaches milestone

A five-year-old has become the 300th person affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster to visit Cornwall through a scheme set up to help survivors.

Adam Chaer-Yemlahi, who lost his aunt, uncle and three of his cousins in the fire, flew to the Isles of Scilly with charity Cornwall Hugs Grenfell on Monday.

The charity was set up to offer respite breaks to survivors and the bereaved and displaced, as well as firefighters who battled the blaze that killed 71 people last summer.

So far, 25% of those that survived the disaster have been a guest with the charity, and a further 200 people are on the waiting list.

Adam (pictured) and his father Bilal, mother Touraya and sisters Aziza, 12, and eight-year-old Salima spent the week in Marazion and were the first guests of the charity to visit the Scilly Isles.

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell’s founder Esme Page said: “Adam’s dream is ‘to be a pilot with a guitar’ so this was the perfect way to celebrate our milestone and look to his future – something important for these children.”

Pilots Jack and Sam’s best tip for Adam to realise his ambition was: “Work hard on your maths and you’ll be OK.”

The Chaer-Yemlahi family lost their uncle Abdulaziz El Wahabi, 52, aunt Faouzia, 42, and their three children, Yasin, 20, Nur Huda, 16, and Mehdi, eight, who lived on the 21st floor of Grenfell Tower.

Mrs Chaer-Yemlahi said: “The children miss their cousins terribly – they ask me many questions and often I don’t know how to answer them.”

She added that Aziza was now terrified of living in a tower because of the risk of fire.

Mr Chaer-Yemlahi said: “(The holiday) helped us enjoy ourselves individually and as a family, something we find hard to do due to the constant reminders of the Grenfell fire where we live.’

A spokeswoman for Isles of Scilly Travel, which organised the trip, said: “Partnering with Cornwall Hugs is a humbling and rich experience, getting to know more about the charity and seeing how these families can benefit from the Scillies environment.

She added: “We look forward to bringing other families to Scilly and we’d like to thank the island-based businesses for partnering on this project to enrich the lives of others.”

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