Survivors from the fire which consumed Grenfell Tower in June have spent a week enjoying the best of Cornish hospitality in Falmouth.

The group Cornwall Hugs Grenfell invited 62 people from 15 families, including fire survivors, those from neighbouring blocks and families in key support roles, to stay at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus at Penryn.

As well as two days of water-sports, a farm visit and trips to attractions such as the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount, the programme was crafted with reflective, therapeutic sessions.

Out of the 62 guests, aged between seven weeks and 64 years, only one had visited Cornwall before, and many were new to the activities on offer, such as paddle-boarding and riding a zipwire

Mother of two Hanan Wahabi, a primary school teacher who used to live on the ninth floor of the tower, said: "Cornwall gave me the time and space to deal with my true emotions. There was no more suppressing…the calm and gentle atmosphere of Cornwall encouraged me to let out the pain and take in some of the healing. Cornwall Hugs Grenfell provided the right type of medicine."

Ms Wahabi, who lost her brother’s family of five in the fire, said: "I will forever remember what happened to us and our devastating loss, but being in Cornwall encouraged me to recall the good memories I shared with those I lost. Especially as they loved visiting beaches and my brother collected models of boats and ships."

Israa, aged 12, whose family was evacuated from a neighbouring block to Grenfell and has been living in hotel accommodation since the fire, said Cornwall had given everyone “fresh air”.

She said: “Coming here takes off all the bad memories that happened in London. When you come here, in the sun and going to the beach, it takes all that memory off and starts anew. It’s been good for my family because we got to do something we all enjoy.”

Esmé Page, founder of Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, said: "This has been a rich, humbling, week, getting to know each other and watching our guests relax in our beautiful surroundings - it’s what we dreamt for them.

"They’ve found some peace and hope and made the first steps towards the future. We’ve been abundantly blessed, by the businesses supporting us, the weather and each other. We’ve shared moving conversations, laughed together, sung together, cried together, prayed together. Many guests have said how healing it has been to re-build something of the community they have lost. It’s been a privilege to begin, what is set to be a lasting connection between Cornwall and those from Grenfell Tower.’

Another guest said: "I just wanted to say thank you and blessings to Cornwall to everybody who put this together - the hearts, the souls, the strength, the courage that went into bringing us down from London, not knowing us, just feeling for us and feeling everything that we felt. I think the world should do more of this. This is what humanity is about and Cornwall is a great example of humanity."

The Falmouth group holiday was oversubscribed and Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is now calling for property owners to pledge the half-term weeks of October 20 or February 10 with the aim of offering another group holiday for those who missed out this time.

Cornwall Hugs Grenfell is keen to hear from large accommodation providers who may be willing to offer 5-10 units in one place. Individual properties are also invited to pledge at and properties where visitors don’t need a car are particularly sought after.