Cornwall is unique. It is at the end of the road. An island-like culture with deep Celtic roots. It has the longest coastline of any county in England and most people who live in Cornwall are drawn to the coast in some way. Surfing, kite-surfing, sailing, swimming, gig-rowing, paddle-boarding, triathlon, wild-swimming, diving, fishing… the list of things we love doing on or in the water is endless – and growing.
This wonderful county has also played an important part in history, helping shape the mining and fishing industries, and has been for centuries a home to writers and artists. Now with its own university, it is also increasingly home to many successful entrepreneurs and their ‘global micro’ businesses. As this magazine so clearly illustrates, it has a vibrant creative spirit that sits alongside its enduring appeal as a holiday and ‘foodie’ destination. People work here because they choose to live here, and not the other way around, and that probably defines Cornwall’s identity more than anything else.
But this column is for ‘The Last Word’ and just as there are huge contrasts between the north and south coasts of Cornwall, so there are huge contrasts in lives here with a great many people struggling with food poverty, unemployment, mental health and countless other issues. Unsurprisingly the challenges faced by many have increased significantly due to the Coronavirus and lockdowns, and will continue to do so through the winter.
The Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF) stands up for those small charities and causes whose voices would not be loud enough on their own. If you love Cornwall then please take a moment to visit the CCF website to see what valuable work the organisation does, and find a way to support if you can. The CCF emergency fund alone has raised over £1m since the start of the pandemic with over 370 grants awarded in Cornwall to date.
Jonathan Cunliffe is a Director of Jonathan Cunliffe Ltd and a trustee of the Cornwall Community Foundation.